‘No’ on constitutional revision of June 14 (PGS)

The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) rejects the revision of Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, which will be voted on by the people and cantons on June 14. The amendment would open the gates for pre-implantation genetic screening (PGS) in medically assisted reproduction. The selection of embryos based on genetic factors advances into the highly sensitive and problematic area of eugenics, i.e., the artificial selection of human beings. Therefore, it is vital to create clear and strict laws governing the application of PGS. The submitted revision does not meet these requirements. The FSPC has produced a short film to kick off a debate about the PGS question.

» FSPC statement on the constitutional revision of Juni 14

» Information page on the constitutional revision of June 14

The national referendum held on June 14, 2015, regarding Article 119 of the Swiss Federal Constitution only pertains to seven words in an inconspicuous half sentence of paragraph 2, sub-paragraph c, no. 3. This passage specifies the number of embryos that can be artificially created in the course of a fertility treatment.  

Currently, that number is three; in the future, as many embryos “as necessary for medically assisted reproduction” may be produced. The Reproductive Medicine Act talks about twelve embryos. Thus, there are enough embryos to select the most desirable one or to keep some for a second reproductive cycle.

The FSPC believes that genetic diagnostics in the course of medically assisted reproduction should be available to parents with serious congenital diseases. However, the selection of embryos based on genetic factors advances into the highly sensitive and problematic field of eugenics, i.e. the artificial selection of human beings.  Therefore, it is vital to create clear and strict legislation.  The submitted revision does not meet these requirements.  For this reason, the FSPC rejects the constitutional revision. Human life must not be subjected to quality control. Furthermore, it remains unclear what will happen to the “surplus” embryos that have been artificially created but will not be implanted.

As a contribution to this debate about a seemingly insignificant question, the FSPC has produced a short film that invites all citizens of Switzerland to learn more about this issue before voting on it on June 14.