July 7, 2022

UK minister allows prisoner access to artificial insemination

If family life is a human right, shouldn’t prisoners be able to father children from behind bars? This is the question being debated in the UK after it emerged that Prisons minister Crispin Blunt approved an unnamed inmate’s request for artificial insemination. According to the London Telegraph, the decision was taken because the prisoner and his partner had already started IVF treatment before he was jailed.

If
family life is a human right, shouldn’t prisoners be able to father children
from behind bars? This is the question being debated in the UK after it emerged
that Prisons minister Crispin
Blunt approved
an unnamed inmate’s request for artificial insemination. According to the
London Telegraph, the decision was taken because the prisoner and his partner
had already started IVF treatment before he was jailed.

This is not the first time that a request like this has been
made. In 2007 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK had breached
the rights of murderer Kirk Dickson and his wife by denying them access to
artificial insemination. Sixteen other prisoners have had similar applications
rejected and another five are currently awaiting a decision.

The incident is being used to hammer the government
for being soft on prisoners. MP Gareth Johnson, chairman of the All Party
Parliamentary Group on Infertility, said: “I find it a remarkable irony
that PCTs (primary care trusts) are restricting some couples on the outside
access to infertility treatment while some prisoners on the inside are entitled
to treatment. Some couples may be forgiven for thinking that the only way to
get publicly funded treatment is to go to prison.” ~ London
Telegraph, Jun 2

Michael Cook
artificial insemination
prisons