France’s Chamber of Deputies allows IVF for all women

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The opening of artificial insemination to all women has passed another important hurdle in France. The National Assembly in Paris voted late Friday evening at second reading for a government bill to this effect. This should also enable lesbians and single women to realize their desire to have children.

The project is a campaign promise by President Emmanuel Macron, which polls support two thirds of the French. Massive criticism comes from conservatives and the Catholic Church. They argue that the law deprives children of a father figure and threatens traditional family structures. Again and again there were protests against the plans.

Macron now praised “the engagement of parliamentarians, members of the government and the national ethics advisory committee” in the short message service Twitter. “Peaceful debates” was followed by “the adoption of a balanced text”. Representatives of homosexual groups welcomed the vote as “historic progress for the rights and freedom of women”.

The law has not yet been passed with the positive vote. The Senate still has to rule on it. The conservative majority in the upper house had already insisted on an important change at first reading: According to this, artificial insemination for lesbians and single women should only be paid for by infertility or for other medical reasons by the health insurance.

The lower house, which has the last word at the end, consisted, as at first reading, of an almost identical version of the original text. The Senate may not be able to look into this until next year and demand a compromise.

In addition to opening up artificial insemination to all women, the draft law provides for a reform of the rules for childhood relationships. A number of other controversial issues, such as egg preservation and embryonic stem cell research, are also to be reorganized.

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