A recent decision of the Italian Constitutional Court has legitimized for the first time heterologous
artificial insemination. On April 9th, 2014 the “Consulta” declared unconstitutional the sections
of law n. 40 of 19 February 2004 (Judgment n. 162/2014), which prohibited heterologous fertilization:
a) section 4 paragraph 3 “It is forbidden the use of techniques of medically assisted procreation
of the heterologous type”; b) section 9, paragraphs 1 and 3, which include the prohibition of the disclaimer of paternity
and the anonymity of the mother; c) section 12, paragraph 1, which includes penalties for anyone who uses for procreation
purposes, gametes from subjects outside the applicant couple. In the present paper the Authors reviewed the recent judgment
of the Constitutional Court of April 9th, 2014, trying to evaluate the impact that it could have on Italian society.
Secondly, the Authors have administered via internet a questionnaire to a cohort composed of 9000 Gynecologists and
other specialists, regarding law n. 40/2004, their opinion of heterologous fertilization, the judgment of the Constitutional
Court and the influence of the Catholic Church in Italy. Finally, a brief overview of laws in the field of heterologous fertilization
among the European Union States has been provided.