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IVF: Proposed change to French law sparks protests

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 08 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5927
  1. Alison Shepherd
  1. The BMJ

Protesters took to the streets of Paris this week angry that French MPs have voted to take steps to allow all women, not just those in heterosexual relationships, to access fertililty treatment.

The vote last month in favour of a draft bioethics law that will give lesbian and single women the right to in vitro fertilisation and artificial insemination procedures, without having to go abroad, has outraged religious conservatives.

The rally last Sunday, which featured grassroots religious groups, Catholic figures, and political opponents of President Emmanuel Macron, claimed that the law change, which has yet to pass through the senate, would “deprive children of their fathers.”

Under the proposed law, the French healthcare system would cover the cost of the procedure for all women under 43. It will also allow children conceived with donated sperm to find out the donor’s identity when they turn 18, a change from current strict donor anonymity protections. Children born to a lesbian couple may also have two mothers on their birth certificates.

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