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Dagna
Tuesday, August 12th, 2008, 09:43 PM
"Artificial insemination should lose subsidy"

Inge Lønning, Conservative Party member of parliament, wants to take artificial insemination off the list of government financed treatment, making users pay.

"It’s wrong to think of this as a health matter," he says to daily newspaper Vårt Land.

He is not worried that this might create a gulf between the rich and the poor.

"It will be the same as with adoption. Here too people have to pay a significant sum," he says.

Users of artificial insemination (AI) have to pay NOK 3.000 (USD 600) today. In addition they have to spend NOK 15.000 ( USD 3.000) for the necessary drugs. The state ends up paying about NOK 65.000 (USD 7.000) for each child born as a result of AI.

In 2006 a total of 1.632 children were born by this method. This amounts to 2.6 percent of all births.

Ingvild Brunborg Morton, who works for a charity which helps couples who have difficulty having children, thinks AI is economically profitable for society in the long run.

"Norway is struggling with a low birth rate, so we should use all available methods to boost it. One in seven couples find that they are unable to conceive naturally, and the fraction is growing," she says.

"AI can only raise the total marginally. I think it would be better to improve conditions for younger women so that they can be encouraged to have their children earlier. A major reason why increasing numbers are finding it difficult to have children is that they are starting later," says Lønning.

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2574669.ece