ROME, December 11, 2003 ( – The Italian Senate has passed, 169-90, legislation which limits the practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) giving human embryos created via the procedure some of the most extensive protection of any country where the procedure is permitted. While the legislation will return to the House for approval, political commentators suggest there will be little substantive change.  The new law allows fertility doctors to create only three human embryos per attempt at in vitro and ensures that all the embryos created must be implanted into the mother thus giving them all a chance to be born.  The bill also ensures that the infertile couple to undergo IVF is either married or must provide evidence of a “stable” relationship.  Further, it prohibits surrogate motherhood, sperm or egg donation, the use of IVF for single mothers or homosexual couples.  Giulio Andreotti, who was prime minister seven times and is now a senator for life, commented on the legislation saying: “This law recognizes an embryo’s legal jurisdiction, I don’t understand therefore why it can be killed for up to four months.”

Hilary White of Campaign Life Coalition Catholic was pleased that the legislation recognized human embryos as persons worthy of the right to life.  However, she said, “knowing that this procedure is fatal for 90% of the embryos created, truly respecting the right to life of these embryonic children would not allow for this deadly experimentation with their lives.”  White added that, beyond endangering the lives of embryonic children IVF does not respect the rights of these children. “IVF also fails to respect the right of the child to be conceived in the loving union of a mother and father,” she said.  See the AFP coverage from Yahoo at: