THE Spanish Ministry of Health plans to exclude single women and lesbians from having assisted reproduction treatment on the social security.
Men and women who have had a vasectomy or tubal ligation will also be excluded.
This had been rumoured for some time and there was even talk of it being cut completely from the public health system.
However, if plans go ahead, only women from couples formed by a woman under 40 and a man under 55, with no children and who have been diagnosed as infertile by a doctor will be given treatment.
This is because it is considered that single women and lesbians do not have a health problem which requires the treatment.
However, Corazon Hernandez, Head of the Assisted Reproduction Unit at the Jimenez Diaz Foundation in Madrid, says that if the women are affected psychologically by their inability to have children, it can also be considered a health problem.
Other doctors argue that the treatment is expensive and it is better to prioritise resources than have the service disappear completely.