The legal status of unborn child in legal relations on realization of human reproductive rights

  • Larysa Liubych Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Keywords: embryo, unborn child, the legal status of the unborn child, reproductive rights, abortion, assisted reproductive technology

Abstract

In the article the legal regulation of relations on realization of human reproductive rights is considered from the perspective of legal personality of unborn child. Analysis of the norms of national legislation leads to the conclusion that in the relations about artificial termination of pregnancy (abortion) and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) embryo (unborn child) serves as the object of these relationships, and devoid of any personality. Legislative confirmation of the legality of operations of abortion at women will contradicts the Part 3 of Article 51 and Article 27 of the Constitution of Ukraine in the part of child welfare and the inherent right to life. The irresolvable conflict arises between the reproductive right of women to termination of pregnancy and the right to life of the conceived by her child since both these rights can not be realized simultaneously. In our view, such freedom of reproductive women choice puts this right into question, because it contradicts universal and constitutional legal principles.
In p. 8.1 "Рocedure of application of assisted reproductive technologies in Ukraine", approved by the Order of Ministry of Health of 09.09.2013 № 787, actions concerning "reduction" of embryos (manipulations on reducing of the number of developing embryos) are governed in purpose to prevent prenatal and obstetrical complications associated with multiple pregnancy. Indications for embryo reduction is the presence of two or more fetuses after use of ART in the presence of an application for reduction of embryos.
Choice of embryos that remain and are subject for reduction, should be appropriate taking into account the ultrasound data characterizing their state for up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. According to Article 28 of the Constitution of Ukraine and Article 289 of Civil Code of Ukraine, the natural person has the right to personal inviolability and shall not be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In our opinion, the reduction of viable embryos after 12 weeks of pregnancy falls under the definition of "cruel, inhuman treatment". To resolve the contradictions in legal regulation of the status of human embryos, artificial termination of pregnancy, the use of ART and biomedical experimentation on embryos it should be recognized that abortion and "reduction" of embryos in ART is a violation of the right to life of the unborn child.

It is necessary to secure the protection of the unborn child (embryo) and recognition for his human dignity from the moment of impregnation by the following formulation of Part 1 Article 27 of the Constitution of Ukraine: "Every person has the inalienable right to life from the moment of impregnation". Unborn child has the potential to realize his rights and obligations after his birth, and moral rights (the basic element of legal status - the right to life, the right to respect for his dignity) - from the moment of impregnation, so it should be granted the status of subject of law which requires special care and assistance.

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Published
2019-02-22
How to Cite
Liubych, L. (2019). The legal status of unborn child in legal relations on realization of human reproductive rights. Administrative Law and Process, (2(12), 262-273. Retrieved from http://applaw.net/index.php/journal/article/view/260
Section
Problems of modern law