The Law and Justice (PiS) party, a conservative opposition party in Poland, is demanding jail terms for doctors for carrying out in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment.
According to the two draft laws tabled by the party in parliament Wednesday, physicians should be sentenced to up to two years in prison for performing IVF, while the patient would not be punished.
"It's about explicitly saying this type of practice is unacceptable," PiS chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski told the Polish press agency PAP Wednesday.
Kaczynski recently compared the creation of so-called test-tube embryos to "abortions" in that some can be unused or disposed of in the IVF process.
The draft laws are similar to those voted down two years ago parliament --
An available but unregulated medical procedure in Poland, IVF is widely practiced in private medical facilities entirely at the patient's expense.
It is strongly opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, which views an embryo as a human being from the moment of conception.
"We want a draft consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church, which protects life. Already existing embryos should be protected by the state but new ones should not be created artificially," said Jan Dziedziczak, one of the authors of the proposed legislation, quoted by the Polish press agency PAP.
The governing centrist Civic Platform party (PO), in power since 2007, has in turn struggled to find consensus among its members on the issue, which is sensitive in a country where some 90 percent of the population of 38.2 million are professed Roman Catholics.
On Wednesday, the governing Civic Platform parliamentary caucus decided to postpone tabling its own IVF draft law until autumn.
Poland has one of Europe's strictest abortion laws. Terminations are outlawed except when pregnancy results from rape or incest, poses a health risk to the mother or if the fetus is severely deformed.
The anti-abortion law was passed in 1993 to replace liberal, communist-era rules and stipulates that illegal abortions can be punished by up to two years in prison for those who perform them.