Passage on fertility to be removed from Polish textbook

August 23, 2022 GMT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The publisher of a new textbook in Poland says it is removing a passage on human fertility that many interpreted as being about in vitro fertilization and which caused widespread offense.

The publishing house, Bialy Kruk, said Monday that that it disagreed with the criticism and the “wrong interpretation” of the passage but that “taking into account the social good ... we decided with the author to remove the controversial fragment from the textbook.”

In its first version, the book titled “History and the Present” described what the author views as modern approaches to sexuality and child bearing. The passage appears to take a dim view of in vitro fertilization, without using the term.

It said: “Increasingly sophisticated methods of separating sex from love and fertility lead to the treatment of sex as entertainment and fertility as human production, one could say breeding. This raises a fundamental question: Who will love the children thus produced?”

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Many people interpreted that passage as meaning that children born by IVF are undeserving of love.

The Education Ministry said on Twitter that only a mind “sick and mad with hatred” would interpret the passage that way.

The book was added to a list of school books in July in preparation for a new subject, called “history and the present,” which the government is introducing this fall.

Critics of the conservative government view the textbook as part of a larger attempt to indoctrinate young people in conservative and nationalistic values. The book also takes a dim view of feminism and other liberal movements.