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Oldest women in the world expecting quadruplets sparks IVF debate

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4/17/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (

Annegret Raunighk has 13 children already.

65-year old Annegret Raunighk, the oldest woman in the world expecting quadruplets, is being frowned upon by many and has sparked debates all over Germany for her in Vitro fertilization pregnancy, considered by politicians and medical experts as "irresponsible and inadvisable."


Catholic Online (
4/17/2015 (4 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Quadruplets, IVF, in Vitro, Annegret Raunighk, Germany

span style="line-height: 15.8599996566772px;">MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Raunighk is currently in her fifth month of pregnancy, and has 13 other children, the eldest aged 43.

Germany has very strict laws on IVF treatment and reproductive medicine; they also restrict the number of eggs that can be implanted, and they also ban egg donation.

Annegret Raunighk with all her kids.

Annegret Raunighk has 13 other children, with the oldest at 43-years-old.

These laws are partly due to the use of eugenics and manipulation of embryos during the Nazi era. They do not allow lesbian couples to have the IVF treatment, which is why some lesbians, interested in getting the treatment, travel someplace else where they can have their IVF treatments.

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Since the Ukraine doesn't have strict rules when it comes to IVF treatment, Raunighk traveled to the Ukraine and went to one of their clinics to have the sperm and eggs from donors implanted in her. The doctors didn't expect that all four eggs would develop into embryos.

Karl Lauterbagh, a leading Social democrat expressed dismay over Raunighk's pregnancy. For him, such pregnancy should not be followed as this is a very questionable case of crossing medical and ethical boundaries.

Lauterbagh explained that Raunighk's pregnancy oversteps the medical and ethical mark as artificial insemination in older people may cause risks of underweight babies, premature births, or a lasting damage.

According to Frank Louwen, secretary of the German Society for Gynaecology and Obstetrics, at Raunighks age, her pregnancy could give her high-blood pressure, pregnancy diabetes and pre-eclampsia. The risks in the babies include sight and hearing problems, paralysis or cerebral bleeding.
Raunighk said she decided to get pregnant again when her youngest child Lelia, asked to have a sibling.

Annegret Raunighk

Annegret Raunighk with her youngest child, Lelia in 2005.

According to Jens Spahn, a health expert for the Christian democrats, Raunighk's decision is "negligent."

Raunighk, on the other hand, defended her decision in an exclusive interview with German television channel RTL. She says that in her opinion, people should live their lives as they want to. And for her, since this possibility exists, she says she should also be allowed to use it too. She says that she is fit enough to bear children and that she can provide for them.

Raunighk also told tabloid newspaper Bild am Sonntag that at first, she was thinking of giving the babies for adoption but she has decided to keep them all instead, as she claims that it took her a lot of effort to get pregnant.


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