Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Lesbian Couple Win In IVF Case Against Spanish Hospital

After a hospital in Madrid refused artificial insemination to them due to their sexual orientation, a lesbian couple has now won a case against the hospital in a Spanish court.


The court ruled that the Madrid hospital had "infringed" on the couple's "fundamental right not to be discriminated (against) for their sexual orientation."  The hospital was then ordered to pay the lesbian couple almost €5,000 ($5,600) in damages.

According to The Local, one woman of the couple had started IVF treatment at the Madrid hospital in 2014, but on finding her sexual orientation, she was told she was excluded from the public program under a recent order from the health ministry. The hospital stated that under the ministry directive, the treatment can only be offered to couples who had for 12 months tried to have a child via sexual intercourse, and said that this obviously excluded a lesbian couple.

The couple then lodged the complaint against the health ministry in Spain, regional authorities and the hospital itself.

However, according to the court, since the woman was "in a romantic relationship with another woman this criteria is impossible to fulfill and she is therefore a victim of discrimination." The court further said that Spanish law on assisted reproduction, which effectively prohibits any form of discrimination, prevails over the directive of the health ministry.

According to Glenys de Jesus, president of Women's Link Worldwide, the Spanish court's decision is "very valuable because it will set a precedent."

She added that their clients are very satisfied and that it is a "great victory for them, for LGBT groups and for all women in Spain."

Apparently before the court's decision was made, the hospital did tell the couple they they had reassessed the situation and that the woman could resume treatment. However, according to the group, the couple decided to push head with the lawsuit anyway.

[Image: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection artwork CC BY-NC-ND 2.0  Wellcome Images]