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News > France

France's House Favors IVF For Lesbian, Single Women

  • Health Minister:

    Health Minister: "These measures recognize the family in all its diversity" | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 October 2019

The text will later be debated in the Senate where Macron's Centre party is outnumbered by right-wing Republicans.

France's House of Representatives has passed a comprehensive bill to give unmarried women and lesbians access to fertility treatments.


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Representatives voted Tuesday with a considerable majority in favor, and only 72 abstentions, for the measure that would allow children conceived with donated sperm to find out the identity of the donor when they turn 18, changing the usual protocol that normally keeps the donor’s identity in secret. 

The bill's major reform to current law would require the nation's public healthcare system to provide lesbians and single women with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or other medically-assisted means if they wish to become pregnant. Currently, they are forced to do so abroad, and French courts generally don't recognise the second mother's maternity rights in the case of same-sex couples, according to Al Jazeera.

The proposed legislation would provide the procedure to all women under the age of 43.

President Emmanuel Macron pledged to support the bill despite deep resistance from right-wing opponents, as well as conservative Roman Catholics and other religious groups who have pledged to combat the measure already being moved to the Senate.

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

The text will be debated in the Senate in January where Macron's Centre party is outnumbered by right-wing Republicans.

On the other hand, Ludovine de la Rochere, president of Protest for All, an association that has led opposition to the bill, said that the House win doesn’t mean this law will actually be approved.

Earlier in October, around 75,000 people demonstrated against the measure in Paris and de la Rochere said new protests are scheduled for Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, and again for Jan. 19.

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