The National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, has definitively approved a law that allows single women and lesbian couples to access medically assisted procreation treatments, hitherto reserved for heterosexual couples. The approval of the law – with 326 votes in favor and 115 against – came after two years of debate and numerous demonstrations organized by people for and against.
With this law, France has joined many other European countries that do not limit access to assisted fertilization to heterosexual couples only: with different rules, for example, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Malta, countries Bassi, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Spain and Sweden. Until now, many French women went to Belgium and Spain to undergo assisted reproduction procedures, which can be very expensive. Now, whether they are single or part of a lesbian couple, they will be able to request medically assisted fertilization using sperm from an anonymous donor.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said he hoped the first conception allowed by the law would arrive by the end of 2021, although there could be delays if the Constitutional Court intervenes.
The new law also allows , among other things, the cryopreservation of oocytes – that is, ova – for fertile and healthy women who do not wish to become mothers immediately, but would like to have the possibility to do so in the future. Until now, this possibility was reserved for women whose fertility can be compromised by medical treatment and for women willing to donate eggs to heterosexual couples with fertility problems.
In Italy, medically assisted procreation can only be used by married or cohabiting heterosexual couples who for some reason are unable to have children naturally. Therefore, couples made up of two women or two men and single people are excluded. For this reason, many Italian couples and single women move to other European countries to have access to the procedure.