French Protesters Rally Against Expanded In Vitro Fertilization Bill

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French Protesters Rally Against Expanded In Vitro Fertilization Bill

Robinson Lee, Staff Writer

The lower house of French Parliament has introduced a new bill that will allow single women and lesbian couples to have access to in vitro fertilization. Thousands of protesters have demonstrated their opposition to the bill in the streets of Paris on Sunday, Oct. 6. Many protesters have concerns that this bill will cause more children to grow up in worse conditions while many others worry about the destruction of traditional family structures by allowing single women and lesbian couples to under go though in vitro fertilization. 

For those unfamiliar with the term, in vitro fertilization is a method of infertility treatment that consists of ovum or ova being removed and having sperm fertilize it in a laboratory. The fertilized egg would then be transferred into the woman’s uterus and the birth cycle would progress normally from there on. The process has been used to help couples who have problems with infertility have children. In France, the treatment is only available to heterosexual couples with the sperm donor being anonymous. However, the bill previously mentioned would change that.

Under the proposed bill not only would more women and couples have the ability to have children, but children born with sperm from a donor have the right to seek the identity of the donor when they reach the age of 18. Many other European nations including Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands have similar laws and polls suggest that two-thirds of French support the passing of the bill but there is still opposition.

Many people see this bill as another step in a snowball effect to destroy the “traditional heteronormative family”. Others see this as another destruction of French tradition as many people who oppose the bill believe that French tradition relies on the notion of paternity and by allowing women to have children without a male counterpart the social order would fall apart along with the future of such children without parents. As one protester presents it, “The family, with a mother and a father, is an ecosystem that needs protecting.” 

Many people protested this bill but there are disagreements on how many people showed up. A research organization put the estimate at 74,000 people; the organizers put it as 600,000 people while police estimates put the number at 42,000 people. But as the overall acceptance of nontraditional families grows in France it remains to be seen whether this bill will be stopped dead in its tracks, or continue on and accompany gay marriage as another successful bill.

Photo courtesy of REUTERS.COM