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Israel: lesbian couple refused surrogacy procedure

27 August 2013
Appeared in BioNews 719

A court in Israel has rejected a lesbian couple's request to undergo a surrogacy procedure in the country. Liat Moshe and Dana Glisko, who have been in a relationship for ten years, rejected a proposal to have only part of the procedure performed in Israel, saying that the law is discriminatory.

The couple wanted Glisko to be implanted with Moshe's fertilised eggs. However, current law in Israel only allows heterosexual couples to undergo surrogacy procedures. Homosexual couples wanting surrogacy are required to go overseas.

A seven-justice panel of the High Court of Justice rejected the couple's petition to have a child by surrogacy without having to go overseas for the procedure. It ordered that the couple could have the egg extracted in Israel but that it must be implanted overseas, in accordance with a proposal made by the health ministry, reports Haaretz.

'Everyone understands that the health ministry has taken a very significant step considering the law's provisions', the Supreme Court's President, Justice Asher Grunis, said. 'Therefore, it's worth seriously considering the proposal'.

However, Moshe is a career official in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and claims that, as an officer, she is forbidden from having surgery abroad.

'For a whole year now it's been hard for me to come and wear a uniform and represent the state, because I'm fighting the state today', said Moshe. 'Aside from all the treatments I'm undergoing, which are hard to bear, I'm here because I feel I'm being discriminated against'.

Moshe added that the IDF would not pay for the procedure abroad, which lawyers representing the State said would cost around $3,000.

The couple is also concerned that going overseas for the implantation procedure would significantly decrease their chance of a successful pregnancy. 'Taking a frozen embryo abroad isn't the same as implanting it here while it's fresh', said Moshe.

A public committee headed by Professor Shlomo Mor-Yosef in May 2012 recommended that the law should be changed in order for single people and homosexual couples to have complete surrogacy procedures performed in Israel.

The Israeli Government has indicated that legislation on the issue will be presented in the coming months but it is not yet clear what changes will be put forward.

Moshe and Glisko have appealed against the court's order and await its final decision, due at a later date.

Israeli court urges lesbian couple to go abroad for birth by surrogacy
Haaretz |  21 August 2013
The right to surrogacy
Haaretz |  22 August 2013
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