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Government Debates Fertility Rights Proposal

The government begins grappling with its policies for fertility treatments on Wednesday. A controversial proposal by the Ministry of Justice would grant treatments to single women and lesbian couples, and make it easier to trace the identity of sperm and egg donors.

The plan was written up by previous Justice Minister Johannes Koskinen, but is now being presented by his successor, Leena Luhtanen. After government ministers debate the proposal, it will be sent on to Parliament for consideration.

The plan would allow married and single women, as well as lesbian couples, to seek state-sponsored fertility treatments and in-vitro fertilisation.

The plan also loosens restrictions on the privacy of sperm and egg donors. If approved, the law would make it possible for people to find out the identity of their biological parents once they reached the age of 18.

The government has been trying to put together some guidelines for fertility treatments off and on for the past 20 years. The previous attempt in 2003 failed over the question of whether sperm donors can be traced by their biological children.

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