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article imageLesbian couple beats hospital in court over IVF refusal

By Anne Sewell     Oct 7, 2015 in Lifestyle
Madrid - A lesbian couple in Spain has won in a lawsuit against a Madrid hospital after they were turned down for artificial insemination due to their sexual orientation.
A lesbian couple wants to have a baby and one of the women had started artificial insemination treatment at a hospital in Madrid, Spain back in 2014. However, when the hospital found out that the woman was in a same sex relationship, they told her she could no longer have treatment.
According to the hospital, a recent order from Spain's health ministry excluded her from the public health program for in vitro fertilization. They said that the ministry directive states treatment of this nature can only be given to couples who have tried to have a baby via normal sexual intercourse for at least 12 months. The hospital stated that in the case of a same sex couple, this was obviously not the case.
As reported in The Local, the lesbian couple then lodged a complaint against the Spanish health ministry, the hospital and regional authorities saying this was clearly discrimination against themselves and their sexual orientation.
Eventually the lawsuit went to court and the couple have just won their case. The court has now ruled that the hospital had "infringed" on their "fundamental right not to be discriminated (against) for their sexual orientation" and has now ordered the Madrid hospital to pay the couple around €5,000 ($5,600) in damages.
Speaking of the directive from the health ministry, El Mundo (in Spanish) quotes the court as saying that as the woman was engaged in a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex, the criteria set by the ministry was impossible to fulfill, thus making her a victim of discrimination. The court continued by saying that under Spain's law on assisted reproduction, discrimination of any kind is prohibited and this law prevails over the health ministry's directive.
As reported on masola.org (in Spanish), the president of Women's Link Worldwide, Glenys de Jesus stated that the decision of the Spanish court is "very valuable because it will set a precedent" and that her clients are very happy with the decision. She added that it was a "great victory for LGBT groups and for all women in Spain."
It did turn out that the hospital reassessed their views before the court's decision was made, saying the woman could resume her treatment, but the two ladies decided to go ahead with their case despite this delayed decision.
More about In vitro fertilization, Artificial insemination, Lesbians, same sex couple, Madrid
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