French activists protest IVF for single women and lesbians

Thousands of activists marched in Paris last Sunday protesting legislation which will make it possible for single women and lesbians to access IVF and sperm donation. The bill is President Emmanuel Macron’s first major social reform and he is promoting it as a law to remove discrimination in reproductive rights. It easily passed in the National Assembly and is now headed to the Senate.

Thousands of demonstrators paraded through the boulevards chanting, “Liberty, Equality, Paternity”, a word-play on the national French motto. Others shouted: “Everyone needs a father.”

Access to IVF treatment was a key demand of French LGBT+ rights groups after France legalized same-sex marriage in 2013. "This simply is a measure of equality for French female citizens, whatever their sexual orientation is," the Association of Gay and Lesbian Parents and Future Parents said in a statement.

Estimates of the number of opponents of the law who took to the streets varied wildly. One supportive report declared that there were 600,000 people in the streets. A crowd-counting research company estimated that there were 74,500.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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