Louise Brown was the first person born through IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). Brown was the keynote speaker on Tuesday (28 March) at the launch event for the European Policy Audit on Fertility.
The audit focused on nine member states (the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). It found that the infertility rate is high, with one in six couples worldwide and 25 million EU citizens affected by infertility.
“Infertility has always been an issue. My birth gave real hope,” Brown said. “A way of beating infertility that really worked.”
Since Brown’s birth in 1978, 6.5 million babies around the world have been born through IVF. But the audit confirms there is still a long way to go in addressing the problem of infertility, including expanding education about and access to treatments and eliminating the stigma around infertility.
“I hope that today’s report helps to ensure that more people get access to the help they need so they can experience the joy of having children of their own,” Brown said.
The host, Romanian ALDE MEP Norica Nicolai, said she hoped the event would be a springboard for future action in EU.