France drafts law to allow state-funded fertility treatment to lesbian couples

France lesbian IVF women

France plans to adopt a bill by the end of July allowing all women to access state-funded fertility treatments like IVF, including those who are single or in a same-sex relationship.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told parliament on June 12 that a bill to change laws around medically assisted procreation (PMA) could be drafted by July and debated in parliament in September.

He said: “In accordance with the commitments of the President of the Republic, this bill on bioethics law authorises all women to have access to assisted reproductive technologies… the bill will be adopted by the end of July and could be debated in Parliament late September.”

“I am convinced that we can achieve a serene, deep, serious debate that is up to the demands of our country, which is my ambition anyway,” he continued.

Current French law allows fertility treatments like IVF, donor gametes or artificial insemination only to heterosexual couples who are married, or have been living together for at least two years.

The reform of laws around reproductive technology was one of President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign pledges.

Same-sex couples kiss out side Colombian shopping centre.

Current French law allows only heterosexual couples to receive government help with fertility treatment. (Raul Arboleda/Getty)

“Children born of PMA are born to couples who love each other”

Marisol Touraine, French politician and former minister of social affairs and health, told French radio station France Inter that she regrets the law was not changed at the same time as the 2013 same-sex marriage ruling.

She said: “French society was ready at the time, today it is even more so… Children born of PMA are born to couples who love each other, whatever they may be.”

However LGBT+ people still experience high levels of discrimination in France.

Philosopher Sylviane Agacinski said on the same radio station: “Family is like sexuality, it’s total freedom, but it’s not the right to have a child.”

Alice Coffin, media director for the European Lesbian Conference, said to Reuters about the current law in 2018: “If I fall in love with a woman… if I can’t have a child, I’m told ‘No, we won’t do anything to help you. We’re not going to help you have a child, go and look somewhere else.’ It’s very brutal.”