France drafts law to extend IVF to lesbians, single women

 Single women and lesbians in France no longer would have to go abroad to get pregnant with a doctor’s help under a proposed law that would give them access to medically assisted reproduction at home for the first time.

A bioethics law drafted by French President Emmanuel Macron’s government includes language to expand who is eligible for procedures such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, or IVF. French law currently limits assisted reproduction to infertile heterosexual couples only.

While the French government says it is responding to changes in society, its bill is sure to generate debate when it comes up next month in parliament. After France in May 2013 made it legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children together, hundreds of thousands of protesters marched in Paris.

The draft calls for France’s national health care system to cover the cost of four rounds of assisted reproduction per pregnancy for all women up to an age limit yet to be set.

The bill also allows children conceived with donated sperm to find out the donor’s identity upon demand when they reach age 18, a change from the strict donor anonymity protections France has now.

However, it would not remove France’s ban on surrogacy arrangements in which a woman carries and delivers a baby for someone else.

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Subscribe to France 24 now: FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 Today is the last meeting of the French cabinet before the summer break. On the table today, a new bill that if passed later this year could dramatically change people's lives.