Israeli Supreme Court rules in favor of fertility clinic for women with HIV


Repeated promises as well as various legal deliberations will end after two years, when the Israeli Supreme Court rules on Monday that a fertility center for women with HIV will be opened by November of this year.

This allows for thousands of women who carry the HIV virus to be served, and was an end result of efforts by female petitioners and the Committee for Combating AIDS.

Many petitioners agreed that Israel should meet the standards of other western countries in allowing each woman to manifest her natural right to become a mother. In a petition filed in 2006, a 36-year old HIV carrier asked for the same basic rights granted to every other woman in the country, which is to undergo in vitro fertilization in order bear a child. With the help of attorney Dore Spivak, of the Human Rights Clinic at Tel Aviv University, five more women then joined the petition.

The petition asked the court to order the Ministry of Health to instruct one of the IVF clinics serving women in Israel to also serve women with HIV.

When the AIDS epidemic first broke out, the chances of a baby being born with the virus stood between 15 and 45 percent. Now, with the appropriate medical attention, supervision and caesarian sections, the chances of infection are now less than one percent.

The Health Ministry decided to set up a special clinic and reached agreement with Rambam Hospital in Haifa to set up an IVF clinic for women carrying the HIV virus.

The plan was for the clinic to open in October of 2008. When the deadline passed, a new deadline was set for August 2009. Recently another delay was instituted.

A panel of three justices ruled that the opening date of the clinic will be November 1, 2009 and that a failure to open the clinic then will constitute a breach of the law.

Many potential clients are excited but also cautious. One woman says she will be the first in line, as she and her non-infected husband have wanted kids since they were married. She also is weary because of the delays, but hopeful.

The court also ruled that in June the ministry will present a report detailing progress in carrying out the court’s ruling.


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