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High-level debate on Folkemødet: Involuntary childlessness steals dreams – and labour!

Jun 24, 2022

On 16-19 June 2022 close to 100.000 people stopped by Folkemødet – the Danish democracy festival when, for the first time after two years with Covid-19, the island of Bornholm could again set the scene for a full democratic dialogue between civil society, politicians, business, media, universities, and citizens at large.

More than 2500 events took place, and it was tough competition for the ReproUnion facilitated debate to be among 77 other debates and events at exactly 3 pm. on the first day! Nevertheless, the tent was full with over 100 participants and moderator Peter Qvortrup Geisling welcomed the strong panel to discuss national, regional and local perspectives when it comes to delivering on fertility strategies, initiatives and preventive measures.

It was also a very engaged audience and Bjarne B. Christensen, General Secretary for the patient organisation Sex &amp Samfund commented: “We must prioritise and initiate more public information on such an important area, knowing that so few are aware and educated about their fertility. A good place to start is in the education system! And then we need a public debate related to norms, which must be handled in a respectful way that doesn’t compromise equality, but instead enables informed choices!”.

Here are some punchlines from the panel and you can tune in on the full debate in the below recording:

– We are talking about the most important in our lives – to have the children we wish for! And there are no excuses to not point at solutions in today’s debate! Said Søren Ziebe in his introduction to the theme and the debate. Søren is heading up the fertility clinic at Rigshospitalet as well as Fertility Awareness in ReproUnion.

– The challenge is structural. We can do so much more to fight infertility! Said Magnus Heunicke, Minister of Health.

– We know from a survey done with Sex & Samfund that the knowledge on fertility among young people is very low and we need to think about the structural challenges to change that. As an example, I am responsible for health in Copenhagen while sex education is handled elsewhere in the system, explained Sisse Marie Welling, Mayor of Health & Care in Copenhagen.

– We must ensure that the knowledge on fertility spreads through all actors and into the civil society and we should also acknowledge that we can act right away without any major plan! Said Karin Friis Bach, Chairman of the Health Committee for the combined Danish Regions.

– We should also look at obvious solutions and what works when it comes to (faster) fertility treatment – such as the healthcare system paying for up to 6 rounds of IVF instead of the current 3, said Christoffer Buster Reinhardt, Chairman of the Health Committee for the Capital Region of Denmark.

Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the full debate right here (scroll down the page – also for pictures)!

The ReproUnion debate was organised in collaboration with Medicon Valley Alliance and it was part of the programme in Sundhedsteltet, orchestrad by the Danish Committee for Health Education.
Several people also stopped by the health fair in the tent on Friday and Saturday, including the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. In addition to talking about the prevention of unvoluntary childlessness at the ReproUnion booth there was also the opportunity to see the film on the key to understanding infertility, through participation in the ReproUnion Biobank & Infertility Cohort.

Enjoy the pictures!

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