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Legislation and cross-border reproductive care – Guido Pennings


The main reasons why people go abroad are quite diverse, but if you bring them all together you can make two broad categories. The first one is low evasion and the second one is gamete shortage. So the low evasion part is in fact highly diverse because it may be related to the type of patient, it may be related to the kind of treatment they are asking for or it may be ready to other aspects concerning the treatment. And the other part are those that are connected to gamete shortage as if you have for instance legislation that prohibits payment, you might have a shortage of donors. If you have legislation that prohibits anonymous donors, you may have shortage. When you try to evaluate cross-border reproductive care as a single phenomenon, you might say that it is both at the same time good and bad. It depends on your reference point. If you look at cross-border reproductive care compared to having treatment at home, it is obviously bad, for the simple reason that people when they have to move out they encounter quite a lot of different issues: practical, psychological and so on. At the same time if you compare it to not having treatment at all, then this is obviously a good thing. If you are a lesbian in a country, that does not allow lesbian couples access, then of course you have a way out, and you go elsewhere, and there you can get what you want. Obviously, if more effort would be done on both sides then you immediately would restrict the number of people going abroad. Make more lenient law and people wouldn’t be forced out. Make a law that is more attractive to donors, and you would immediately get more donors, so they don not have to go and look for donor eggs or donor sperm outside.

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