Now yes. Almost two years after its presentation, the French National Assembly on Tuesday gave its final approval to the bioethics bill that opens the door to assisted reproduction for lesbian couples and single women in the same conditions in which they could do it until now straight couples. The regulation, considered the main – and almost the only – social measure of the five-year period of Emmanuel Macron, has been approved by 326 votes in favor, 115 against and 42 abstentions, after a long parliamentary journey where it was repeatedly stopped upon its arrival in the Senate , with a conservative majority.

The Government has signed a law that it has promised to have ready as soon as possible so that “the first babies can be conceived before the end of 2021”, according to the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, although its implementation could be delayed a few weeks if deputies Conservatives file an appeal before the Constitutional Council, the station warned Franceinfo.

Despite this, the president of the macronist parliamentary group in the National Assembly, Christophe Castaner, has described this day as a “historic day”, celebrated in full commemoration of Gay Pride, “not only for women, but for all those who love equality and for all those who fight so that everyone has the same rights ”. However, the new law is not completely open to everyone: very early in its debate, the possibility that assisted reproduction – and reimbursed by Social Security for all women up to 43 years of age, depending on the age limit – was excluded current – is also extended to transgender people, something that LGTBI + groups have regretted since the long discussions of the regulations began.

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The main measure of what will soon be law in France is Article 1, which establishes that “every couple formed by a man and a woman or by two women, or every unmarried woman, will have access to medical assistance for procreation” and that said access “cannot be subject to any difference in treatment, especially in reference to their marital situation or the sexual orientation of the applicants ”. Until now, lesbian or single women who wanted to have a child through assisted reproduction were forced to travel to other countries, such as Spain, to be inseminated. The “PMA for all”, as the assisted reproduction process is called in France, was a campaign promise from Macron, although its implementation has been torpedoed by opposition from conservative parties despite broad support for the measure. social: 67% of the French are favorable, according to a recent survey by the Ifop institute.

The right had opposed the regulation stating that opening assisted reproduction to lesbian and single women meant giving in to a society guided by “individual desire” without taking into account the “best interests of the child,” recalled the Agence France Presse. Another of the arguments against has been the affirmation that this law will open the door to the legalization of surrogacy in France, something that the Government has categorically denied, stating that this is a “red line” that will not be crossed.

Banner during the celebration of Gay Pride day in Paris in 2020 calling for assisted reproduction for lesbian women, as the French National Assembly has now approved.CHARLES PLATIAU / Reuters

The debate on assisted reproduction open to all women – which despite having provoked protests by conservative groups in recent years has not managed to mobilize against it as massively as it provoked homosexual marriage in the previous mandate of the socialist François Hollande – has hidden other key measures of this law. Among others, the bioethics law allows all women to freeze their eggs without, as up to now, it being necessary to use a medical justification (a disease or an intervention that could put a woman’s fertility at risk).

With regard to lesbian couples, the law also provides for a “new form of filiation” based on an “advance declaration of will” that must be signed before a notary public before the baby is born. This document will allow, as the Government had advanced, that the two members of the couple become “together, from birth, the mothers of the baby born from the assisted reproduction procedure to which both have also consented jointly.” Until now, only the woman who gives birth to the baby is considered the mother and the other woman must officially adopt the child.

The new law also ends the anonymity of sperm donors, although only for children born by this procedure who, upon reaching the age of majority, will be able to know the identity of the donor. However, it is still forbidden for the donor to choose the partner to whom he wants to donate his sperm or for the partner to choose a specific donor.

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