The Polish Catholic Church and the Regulation of IVF in Poland: Polarised Political Discourses and the Battle over ‘Proper’ Reproduction

Dorota Anna Gozdecka


This article illustrates the legislative battle for the regulation of IVF in Poland between the years 2007-2011. It examines the proposed drafts and focuses on the influence of the Catholic Church on those drafts. It also scrutinises the impact of this influence on gender stereotypes as well as the exclusion of religious “others”. When the law becomes strongly influenced by traditional religion whose values are identified with national values, many otherised groups become erased from the legislative equation: infertile couples, non-Catholics, single and lesbian women, as well as dissenting voices within the Church. While IVF is criticised, the ground for this criticism is far from the feminist concern for women and freeing them from the social expectations of motherhood.


Poland; women's reproductive rights; Catholic Church; biomedical law; politicised religion

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