French parliament passes law extending IVF rights to lesbians and single women

Under the current french law, only heterosexual couples are allowed access to fertility treatment leaving lesbian couples and single women to seek these services abroad.

Gay rights campaigners in France are celebrating a milestone for equal right, barely a day to the end of this year’s pride month after parliament finalised adoption of a bill giving all women access to fertility treatment for the first time.

The French parliament on Tuesday definitively approved the bill that would give lesbian couples and single women access to medically assisted fertility treatment such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

President Macron’s government introduced this new legislation which passed a final vote in the National Assembly after two years of heated debates over the provisions therein.

This now puts France on the same footing with other European countries such as its immediate neighbours, Belgium and Spain—currently two of the top destinations for lesbian couples and single women looking for help conceiving.

Other provisions contained in the legislation.

According to the Health Minister Olivier Véran, women will be able to begin treatment as early as the beginning of autumn. This has led some to raise concerns about possible shortage at sperm banks due to anticipated rush.

Under the new legislation, France’s healthcare will cover the cost of fertility treatments for all women under the age of 43.

It also allows children conceived with donor sperm to learn the donor's identity when they become adults. Until now, sperm donors in France have been guaranteed anonymity.

The new legislation also makes it possible for women in their 30s to freeze their eggs – a procedure currently available only to women undergoing treatment for conditions that could impact their fertility, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer.

However, the legislation does not legalise surrogacy, a practice used by some couples to have children that is still widely rejected in France.

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