On September 5th Zenit.org reports that on August 28 the European Court of Human Rights declared that access to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) must be allowed.
The court decision dealt with the Italian Law 40/2004. The case of Rosetta Costa and Walter Pavan v. Italy regarded a married couple who were both carriers of cystic fibrosis who wished to use PGD to screen their children as embryos.
Law 40, approved in 2004, prohibited PGD and also the freezing of embryos and research using embryos. A 2009 Supreme Court decision allowed the use of PGD, but only in the case of infertile couples, which is not the situation of the couple who brought the case.
The judgment, however, is not final and the Italian Government has said it will request the referral of the case before the Grand Chamber for reconsideration
Interviewed by ZENIT, Carlo Casini, the president of the Italian Pro-Life Movement, described the judgment as “superficial” and expressed the hope that it would be overturned on appeal.
Casino pointed out that to take a case before the European Court of Human Rights it is first necessary to have exhausted the judicial procedures in the country of origin. The couple in this case, however did not do this but went directly to the European court and for that reason alone their case should not have been allowed.
One of the great problems with PGD, Casini explained, is that it requires there be from nine to 12 healthy embryos. Therefore, to ensure the birth of a single embryo many other viable embryos are destroyed. “Hence, it is a programmed death of many children to have a healthy one.”
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Our every prayer is with all of the future lives affected by this law. While we are hopeful that the recently passed law will in fact be overturned. Please join us in prayer for possible victims of this law.