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Minister bypasses cabinet with in vitro fertilization announcement

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE — Junior Health Minister Jet Bussemaker (Labour) has withdrawn her plans to allow women with a genetic form of breast cancer to filter out their dangerous gene in in vitro fertilization. When Bussemaker announced she planned to broaden regulations she ”assumed” her measures were within the framework of cabinet policy and had not bothered to raise the matter first at the cabinet level. ChristenUnie-leader André Rouvoet, who also is Vice-Premier, begged to differ. His party rejects human intervention in procreation. The Christian Democrats have their own reservations. It is currently illegal to select embryos following in vitro fertilization before placing these in the woman's womb. Embryonic selection has been permitted since May 2006 for the genetic disease of Huntington. The conservative liberals (VVD) are pressing for an emergency debate on the issue in the Second Chamber. The party says the cabinet position on embryo selection is now totally unclear.