The essentials The draft law on bioethics will be discussed for the third time in the National Assembly from Monday, June 7th. One of the most important measures of the text is the opening of assisted reproduction to all women.
The right is not disarming, but final approval is getting closer: The bioethics bill and its flagship measure to open the PMA to all women are on the agenda of the National Assembly for the third time starting Monday.
“The text will reach Parliament at the end of its examination” in July and the implementing texts must “come out very quickly” so that “the women who expect this new right can benefit from it as soon as possible,” promised Health Minister Olivier Véran on BFMTV. The first and probably only major social reform of the five-year term of office promised by Emmanuel Macron has been delayed due to the Covid 19 crisis.
Risk of reduced sperm donation
Fabien Joly from the Association of Homoparental Families pushes “a poof of relief: this law will finally be passed, the game is over.” However, in view of the demand, he states “the risk of sperm shortage”, while the draft law provides for the lifting of the anonymity of donors under certain conditions.
“Other countries have seen a decline in donations, but only temporarily. It will be necessary to educate and reassure”, acknowledges the chairman of the LREM MP Christophe Castaner. “PMA for everyone is part of five years of progress: We have extended paternity leave, combated domestic violence, and ensured that CAF paid unpaid alimony,” he boasts in the JDD.
A forum of 80 LR parliamentarians
But the right-wing opposition has not yet said the last word and has tabled almost two thirds of the 1,550 amendments to the menu from 4 p.m. on Monday. “The executive shows a catastrophic lack of awareness of priorities and responsibility”, estimated around 80 LR parliamentarians in a forum in La Croix recently, particularly with regard to the health crisis.
Also read: PMA for everyone: The bioethics law in Toulouse creates strong tensions between opponents and professionals
These elected representatives, including frontline MPs Patrick Hetzel and Xavier Breton, as well as Senator LR Bruno Retailleau, judge that “the government wants to put the bioethics law into effect”. They propose to leave “room for real democratic debate in 2022” instead.
The For All Demonstration, which opposes the opening up of medically assisted procreation to lesbian couples and single women, called for demonstrations around the Palais Bourbon on Monday and Tuesday evenings “to defend equal rights for all children, starting with that of having a father and “a mother”.
Freedom of choice
The bill took its parliamentary run in autumn 2019. For this new reading, the speaking times of the political groups will be limited to a total of twelve and a half hours until Friday. A year ago, the right-wing Senate approved the draft law with its measure to open the PMA, albeit without social security support. But in the second reading at the beginning of the year, the senators confusedly accepted the amputated text of this emblematic measure.
MPs and senators did not come to a compromise text, hence this last shuttle, with subsequent examination in the Senate on June 24th and finally the last word for the assembly. In addition to the opening of the ART, the government plan provides for a delicate reform of ancestry and access to ancestry and deals with a number of complex issues such as egg self-preservation or research on embryonic stem cells. During the special committee’s warm-up session last week, MPs restored their version and deleted Senate additions such as the mention “There is no right to the child”.
The debate about surrogacy (ie by surrogate mother), which is banned in France, flared up again. LR elected officials denounced a “duplication” of the majority, particularly due to the possible recognition of the parentage of children born by GPA abroad that MPs are engraved on the bill in second reading to review the judiciary’s decisions on the matter to unify.
Freedom of choice is essential on these issues that touch the intimate and raise issues beyond party lines.