Statement by Filomena Gallo – solicitor, president of the Associazione Amica Cicogna, and vice Secretary of Luca Coscioni Association for freedom of scientific research

The 2010 Nobel Prize for Medicine has been awarded to Robert Edwards, thus recognizing his status as father of IVF and as one who enabled millions of pregnancies and births worldwide. Furthermore, this recognizes scientific achievement beyond ideological preconceptions, something that is forced upon the lives of those Italian citizens who require medical assistance in order to conceive: in Italy, law 40/2004 prohibits the use of all those options introduced by Edwards, providing no scientific or legislative reason, leaving tribunals and the Constitutional Court as the last resort to guarantee some respect for individual rights. Luckily, Edwards never lived in Italy or, given the indirect prohibition caused by law 40 and the amount of time Italy has gone without experimental research, he may never have achieved the above results. This is a great endorsement for the great Robert Edwards, and, yet again, a great lesson for the Italian government in showing how the latter has not only forgotten but also violated its citizens’ right to better healthcare, to equality, to family life, and to individual free will.