European Court Nixes Italy's Embryo Screening Ban

ROME (AP) - The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Italy's ban on screening embryos for disease before they are implanted in a womb has violated the rights of a couple whose first child was born with cystic fibrosis.

The France-based court's ruling Tuesday in favor of the Italian couple triggered fresh calls among Italian politicians for a less restrictive law regulating artificial procreation.

A few years ago, feeling the strong influence of the Vatican, which disapproves of artificial procreation, Italy's Parliament made a law allowing couples to use in vitro fertilization to resolve infertility. But the law bans pre-implantation diagnosis of embryos.

The European ruling said it is "inconsistent" that Italians could abort a fetus with defects, but not test an embryo before implantation, as the couple wanted to do.

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