top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

French ethics report: All women should have IVF access

The French national ethics committee has reiterated its stance in favour of extending medically-assisted reproduction to all women, including lesbians, and lifting anonymity of sperm donors in some cases.

The report, delivered on September 25 by the Comité Consultatif National d'Éthique (CCNE), confirms the view that all women - including homosexual couples and single women - should have free access to the medical procedure (usually IVF).

The committee is also in favour of allowing women to freeze embryos for future use - if the woman in question is within a certain age range.

Similarly, it agrees that women should be able to use embryos “post mortem”, e.g. in the rare event that a woman wishes to use a frozen, fertilised embryo, even after the death of her partner or sperm donor.

The CCNE report also discussed anonymous sperm donors, saying that it was in favour of lifting total anonymity in certain cases, but that this would need to be tempered by very precise agreements that respected the donor’s wishes at the outset.

The agency is still not in favour of surrogate pregnancy, it said.

The report also discussed end of life care and the “right to die” question, with the CCNE saying that it did not feel a change in the law was needed. Instead, it called for the “imperative need” to respect and apply the current laws.

Much of the report reiterates viewpoints that were first publicly adopted by the CCNE in June 2017, and have been repeated and confirmed ahead of the forthcoming government discussions on bioethics.

The government is set to present legal recommendations on the issues before the end of the year, and the topic is set to be re-debated in Parliament in early 2019.

President Emmanuel Macron is said to be in favour of widening access to medically-assisted reproduction.

The report comes amid a debate on the issues in France, with a poll published today finding that 52% of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples aged under 45 would like to have their own child at some point, and would consider IVF or surrogacy as key options, far ahead of adoption or co-parenting with another person outside of the couple.

Alexandre Urwicz, president of gay parental group l'Association des Familles Homoparentales (ADFH), said: “Today, legalising IVF for female couples would be answering a real need.

“If we continue to forbid IVF to lesbian women, all of these women who want to be mothers will see themselves being robbed of that experience.”

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now