French Senate passes controversial IVF bill | Catholic National Register
French Catholic bishops have fiercely opposed the bioethics bill since its introduction six months ago.
PARIS, France – The French Senate this week passed a bill that would allow access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) for single women and lesbian couples.
The bill was passed by 160-116 on Wednesday and is part of a larger bioethics law that passed its first reading in the French National Assembly late last year.
The Senate voted against part of the bill that would have funded IVF through French social security. The National Assembly approved this provision of the law.
Under current law, IVF is only available to heterosexual couples who are unable to conceive or who may transmit a health problem or sexually transmitted disease.
The new bill has been applauded by LGBT advocates.
“What was recognized for heterosexual couples must be recognized for same-sex couples,” Socialist Party Senator David Assouline said, according to Reuters.
When the bill was passed by the National Assembly in October, crowds of more than 40,000 people marched in a peaceful protest to oppose the legislation.
French Catholic bishops have fiercely opposed the bioethics bill since its introduction six months ago. The Episcopal Conference of France has compiled the declarations of 71 bishops on the subject.
The conference also released a statement earlier in January titled “No one should treat the other as an object.” The statement raises concerns that the bill prioritizes the desire of parents over the good of the child and paves the way for eugenics through preimplantation diagnosis and embryo selection.
“Not only wanting a child without a genetic variant is an illusion, it would also dehumanize our humanity,” the bishops’ conference statement read.
Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris, who practiced medicine and taught bioethics at a medical school before the priesthood, said the bill had potentially harmful consequences for vulnerable people.
“A child is a gift to receive, not an order to make. The absence of a father is an injury that can be suffered, but it is monstrous to inflict it on purpose, ”Aupetit said in a January 15 statement.
“For years, we have been engaged more and more in a commercial drift of the rich countries which offer themselves the luxury of organizing a eugenic trade with the systematic elimination of the most fragile, the creation of embryos and transgenic chimeras”, a he added.