France legalizes IVF for lesbians and single women – .

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France legalizes IVF for lesbians and single women – .


PARIS – The lower house of the French Parliament will definitively approve a law on Tuesday that will allow single women and lesbians to access medically assisted procreation for the first time.

The new law will expand access to fertility treatments such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF), currently reserved only for infertile heterosexual couples.

In France, fertility treatments are free, which would now include lesbian couples and single women.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said French authorities were preparing to implement the new law as quickly as possible, so that the first children can be conceived by the end of the year.

The vote marks the end of a two-year long debate in Parliament. The conservative majority in the Senate has repeatedly rejected the measure, but the lower house of parliament, where Macron’s centrist party has the majority, has the final say. The National Assembly has already approved the bill three times and is due to adopt it definitively later Tuesday.

French LGBT rights groups lobbied for the measure after France legalized same-sex marriage under then-President Francois Hollande, after months of mass protests by conservative and Catholic groups.

“Finally,” said Matthieu Gatipon, spokesperson for the Inter-LGBT association, welcoming a “long-awaited breakthrough”.

“We are satisfied that this is happening… but it has been a painful childbirth,” he said, expressing his frustration that it took so long to get to the final vote on the law.

Gatipon said it had been difficult for French women who had to delay plans for a baby for years, and others who had to pay expensive fees to travel abroad to countries where such procedures are available, like Spain and Belgium.

The new law does not address France’s ban on surrogacy agreements in which a woman carries and delivers a baby for someone else.

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