July 31, 2014
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.