France: Conservatives Mobilize After French Gov’t Proposes State-Funded IVF for Same-Sex Couples

A proposal to provide state-funded in-vitro fertilization treatment for lesbian couples and single mothers is being welcomed by LGBT groups, but conservatives are vowing to take to the streets in opposition.

The proposal is part of a new draft bioethics law, presented by the government last month and due to be considered by parliament after the traditional August summer break.

It provides for IVF, also known as medically-assisted procreation (MAP), to be available for lesbian couples and unmarried women, to be funded through social security, like other medical procedures. Health care in France is largely covered by the state.

The government is expecting an additional 2,000 applications for IVF each year, over the approximately 150,000 attempts now made.

The proposed legislation also deals with genetic tests, embryo research, issues relating to sperm donation, and the conservation of oocytes (immature eggs) – all measures under strict medical control.

The IVF/MAP proposal is particularly contentious, given debates over the importance of the traditional family.

“Family patterns have changed,” said Health Minister Agnès Buzyn, a physician. “All the studies now show that children raised in homosexual couples or by single mothers do not have any particular problems as distinct from children raised in more traditional types of family situations.” Read more via CNS News