ATHENS – “An issue of our times, assisted reproduction is a worth holding an open discussion on, with all of Greek society,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in Parliament on Tuesday, during the debate on the draft health ministry bill updating the legislative framework for this issue.
“Even more so given that this challenge is linked to other important national wagers, such as individual rights, modernising daily life and, of course, tackling the demographic problem. But also with something even more important. The ability of tens of thousands of couples to have children, fulfilling a dream to complete their family with a child or with one more child and to do this with safety, staying away from illicit and potentially dangerous methods that they have often resorted to until today,” he added.
He expressed disappointment that main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance had chosen to abstain in the vote on the bill “when it essentially agrees with most of the provisions”, saying it missed the opportunity to send a message of unity to counteract the toxic political climate.
Mitsotakis noted that a central reform of the bill was an increase in the age limit for assisted reproduction in women by four years, to 54 years old, as recommended by experts and as already applies in many European countries. He noted that this outlined all the procedures for ensuring the health of both mother and fetus, while obviating the need for couples to go abroad to get the help they needed, as well as increasing the likelihood of foreign couples seeking assisted reproduction in Greece.
According to the premier, the bill would bring Greek legislation fully up to date with the great strides made by medicine in the field of assisted reproduction.
He ended his speech with an appeal to the main opposition to re-examine its stance and change its “present” vote to a “yes” vote, in an area where the science was indisputable, so as not to turn everything into an issue of party political conflict.
“You had the opportunity today to take a small step to overcome this climate of toxicity that has, unfortunately, fully corroded political dialogue. A few days before we celebrate the restoration of our democracy, it is an opportunity to also restore its environment, at a time of very difficult external conditions, which do not permit the opening of internal wounds. We need unity and stability, not vulgarity,” Mitsotakis emphasised.