Twenty members of the coalition “Equality” submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman for Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro against the Ministry of Health regarding regulations governing access to medically assisted reproduction (MAR) adopted by the ministry, which prevents access to MAR for same-sex oriented individuals and women in life partnerships.
The Ministry of Health of Montenegro has recently adopted eight regulations related to the Law on Medically Assisted Reproduction, which define the methods and conditions for selecting donors and the types of laboratory testing that must be passed.
Some of these regulations are clearly discriminatory towards same-sex-oriented individuals and directly and entirely illegally prevent them from exercising their rights under the law on MAR. Same-sex-oriented individuals are prevented from donating germ cells, and women in life partnerships are prevented from exercising their rights to infertility treatment through MAR procedures.
This situation not only prevents same-sex-oriented individuals from accessing MAR but also prevents same-sex-oriented women who need to exercise their right to infertility treatment through MAR procedures from entering into life partnerships because if they do so, they will be prevented from exercising that right.
Given the Law on MAR, as well as the Constitution of Montenegro, ratified human rights treaties, and the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, it is clear that the aforementioned regulations deprive persons in life partnerships with persons of the same sex of their rights under the law are discriminatory because they involve unjustified differentiation or denial of rights based on sexual orientation, which is explicitly prohibited.
Laws and regulations are there to regulate life as it happens, and whenever they fail to do so, their application is harmful both to those affected by the laws and regulations and to the state itself.
With all of the above in mind, members of the “Equality” coalition demanded through the complaint that the Ombudsman for Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro act in accordance with their authority in this case, identify the discriminatory bases of these regulations, recommend their urgent amendment to remove any basis for discrimination and instruct the Ministry of Health to cease the practice of discriminatory treatment of LGBTQ individuals.
Members of the “Equaly” coalition who signed the complaint are: