Thu, Oct 17, 2019 - Page 6 News List

French lawmakers back IVF for single women, lesbians

AFP, PARIS

France’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a sweeping bioethics bill that would give give single women and lesbians access to fertility treatments, a move which critics vowed to fight as the legislation moves to the Senate.

French National Assembly lawmakers voted 359 to 114, with 72 abstentions, in favor of the first major social reform of French President Emmanuel Macron’s term.

Macron pledged during his 2017 election campaign to support the bill, despite deep resistance among right-wing opponents, as well as Roman Catholics and other religious groups.

“These measures, while respecting our ethical principles, recognize the family in all its diversity,” the French health, justice and research ministers said in a joint statement after the vote.

However, the bill now heads to the Senate in January, where Macron’s centrist party is far outnumbered by right-wing Republicans.

France’s same-sex marriage legalization does not allow lesbian couples or single women to have children via in vitro fertilization or other medically assisted means.

Many women have instead been forced to go abroad for such treatments and French courts often refuse to recognize the second mother’s maternity rights in the case of same-sex couples.

Under the proposed law, the healthcare system would cover the cost of the procedure for all women under 43. It would also allow children conceived with donated sperm to find out the donor’s identity when they turn 18.

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