Store protester mot liberalisering av bioteknologilov i Paris

Triumfbuen, Paris
Foto: Willian West fra Unsplash

Kort tid før det franske senatet skulle  overveie et lovforslag om tillatelse av kunstig befruktning for enslige kvinner, inkludert lesbiske, demonstrerte mer enn 40.000 mennesker mot tiltaket på gatene i Paris på søndag. Norske medier er selvfølgelig tause om motstanden.

Led by the populist La Manif pour Tous movement, tens of thousands of demonstrators protested against legislation that will allow women in same-sex couples to resort to “artificial conception” — that is, taking sperm from a random or pre-selected father, whom the conceived child will likely never know, so the child can be raised by his mother, alone or with another female — and allow the mother and the other woman to be listed as parents on the birth certificate of the resulting children. Pro-family activists of La Manif have disputed official estimates for the number of participants in the massive demonstration, saying there were far more. The leader of La Manif, Ludovine de La Rochère, said she was happy with the turnout, which came about despite the cold and a prolonged and crippling transport strike.

In October, the lower-house National Assembly passed a draft bill with amendments for review by the Senate, sparking public protests in opposition in the fall. Protesters on Sunday objected especially to extending legal access to artificial procreation, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), to single women.

President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for the concept while running for office in 2017. The Senate began debate on Tuesday and will continue to review the reform bill through February 4, at which time the measure will return to the National Assembly.

Macron and the French minister of health and solidarity submitted the bioethics bill in July to the National Assembly. Currently, France’s Public Health Code allows artificial reproduction only to couples, in consultation with medical experts, that consist of a “man and a woman” who are either experiencing fertility problems or wish to avoid transmitting a serious illness to their child. Macron’s La République en Marche! (LREM) party wants to see the reform pass, but without the public backlash that came upon the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in 2013.

While the amended bill includes access to artificial reproduction “sans père” (using sperm from an uninvolved male — French literal translation, “without a father”) for single women, it remains to be seen whether the procedure will be covered by the French social security system. Senator Muriel Jourda of the party Les Républicains has proposed that only heterosexual couples should be covered for artificial reproduction but only when specific medical criteria are met, such as diagnosed infertility or in order to prevent transmission of a serious illness or condition to the child.

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