By John-Henry Westen

WARSAW, September 29, 2009 ( – As the debate over in vitro fertilization (IVF) rages in the Polish parliament, hundreds of doctors and medical professionals have written an open letter to Polish Parliamentarians urging them to vote against legalizing IVF and opt instead for a more successful, safer, natural treatment for fertility problems. 

Although IVF is not officially legal in Poland, it has nonetheless been practiced for years in the nation. 

Several Parliamentary proposals have been brought forward to legalize the practice under the guise of regulating the already occurring procedures.  The proposals range from taxpayer funding for all IVF treatments without restriction, including for lesbians, and another that would ban creation of human embryos outside the mother's body.

Parliamentarians have ignored a grassroots initiative proposing a complete ban on IVF signed by 160,000 citizens.

The Catholic Church has also entered the debate, with several letters by Polish bishops referring to IVF as “a refined form of abortion” and calling for natural methods to be used instead.

The open letter from medical professionals was published in the major daily paper Rzeczpospolita.  It followed on the heels of a conference on the most advanced natural techniques to combat infertility known as NaProTechnology that was held two weeks ago in Poland and attended by hundreds of doctors and medical professionals.

In the letter, doctors urge parliamentarians to vote against IVF, and to consider NaProTechnology, which they describe as “a diagnostic-therapeutical method,” which “constitutes a cheap, realistic, healthy and wholly ethical alternative to artificial reproduction.”

The letter marks the first in Poland from scholars and medical professionals openly condemning IVF. 

“We would like to emphasize the fact that contrary to NaProTechnology, artificial fertilization entails risk of embryo death, miscarriage and multiple pregnancies oftentimes resulting in premature births,” warns the letter. “IVF also incurs increased risk of fetal abnormalities and of health issues for the woman undergoing ovarian hyperstimulation.”

In summary, they said, “IVF is an expensive, less effective, controversial method that entails serious health risks.”

For the full open letter click here.

To expresss your opinion or concern:

Health Minister Ewa Kopacz
[email protected] 
[email protected]
Polish Parliamentarians (in the subject field indicate that you want this to be forwarded to all parliamentarians, e.g. “do polskich parlamentarzystow”)
[email protected]
Polish Senators (in the subject field indicate that you want this to be forwarded to all senators, e.g. “do polskich senatorow”)
[email protected]
Speaker of the Parliament Bronislaw Komorowski
[email protected] (subject: List do Marszalka Sejmu)
President Lech Kaczynski
[email protected]

Prime Minister Donald Tusk
[email protected]