Tuesday, October 8, 2019

"Why IVF Has Divided France"

Perhaps nothing illustrates that tension better than the heated debate unfolding here over the biggest social issue on President Emmanuel Macron’s agenda: a bill that would lift some of France’s restrictions on access to fertility treatments.

The proposed changes, some of which have already been approved and the rest of which are likely to pass, would grant single women, regardless of their sexual orientation, access to treatments such as in vitro fertilization and sperm donation, paid for by the national health system. These have previously been legal in France only for heterosexual couples who have been married or in civil partnerships for at least two years, and whom a doctor has determined are sterile or have medical risks requiring fertility treatments.


The reform is being driven by Macron—the youngest president in French history, a childless man who married his former high-school drama teacher—whose campaign promise to extend fertility treatments to lesbians and single women is aimed at bringing France in line with some of its European neighbors, and bringing French law in line with reality.