Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc exposes extent of sexual harassment

Read more

THE DEBATE

Europe’s newest face: Kurz’s election win indicates rightward shift for Austria

Read more

FOCUS

Turkey's brain drain: Turning their backs on limited freedom, declining economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Black Day for democracy': Malta mourning after top journalist is murdered

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Has the Weinstein scandal 'freed' women from their silence?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Internet giants: Too big to be taxed?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU’s Karl-Heinz Lambertz: ‘Empowering regions and cities very important for Europe’s future’

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Client Liaison, Boyz II Men & Jessie Ware

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Iran deal decertified: Trump disavows nuclear agreement without walking away from it

Read more

France

France lagging european neighbours on procreation rights, say activists

© Philippe Desmazes, AFP file picture | Pro-PMA activists take part in the Gay Pride rally in the French city of Lyon on June 15, 2013

Text by Louise NORDSTROM

Latest update : 2017-06-27

France’s national ethics committee on Tuesday recommended the country’s laws on medically assisted procreation (MAP) be extended to include lesbian couples and single women. FRANCE 24 takes a look at where other EU members stand on the issue.

The announcement marks a big victory for the French LGBT community whose country has lagged behind many of its European peers when it comes to more equal legislation for non-heterosexual couples.

“This is certainly a politically charged issue for many countries, one that attracts a lot of attention. From a legal and policy point of view, we could expect a country like France - one that ranks in the top five of our Rainbow Europe equality index - to be doing more. This is especially so when you consider the situation in neighbouring countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands and, more recently, the steps taken by Portugal,” Evelyn Paradis, executive director of the European faction of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) told FRANCE 24 in a written statement.

Same-sex marriage, for example, was only legalised in France in 2013, under former Socialist president François Hollande. A clause in that law that was meant to also allow lesbian couples and single women to have children using MAP, however, was dropped after hardline Catholics and other conservative groups staged massive street protests under the banner “Manif Pour Tous” (which translates roughly into “A Demonstration for Everyone”). The protestors opposed the bill saying it threatened traditional family values.

But in its recommendation on Tuesday, France’s National Advisory Committee on Ethics said that the medical and technical access to MAP should be extended to include single and lesbian women so that they are, according to Paradis, just as “free and equal” as others “in their desire to have children”.

Paradis added that: “We also know that many lesbian couples have travelled from France to neighbouring countries – this does happen. But practically that means that many question marks linger for those couples when they return to France, in terms of recognition and protection of their family. This is something that needs to change… and France has examples of best practices from elsewhere in Europe that it can follow!”

SOS Homophobie, a group that represents LGBT rights in France, hailed the decision, calling it: “A step forward for all mums”.

The anti-equality “Manif Pour Tous” movement, however, responded by denouncing the move, saying the recommendation was “totally at odds with the wishes of the French”.

France’s new President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his support for extending the laws regarding MAP, but has yet to propose a bill on the matter.

The FRANCE 24 map below shows where other EU member states currently stand on MAP:

 

Date created : 2017-06-27

  • FRANCE

    Thousands march at Paris Gay Pride to demand procreation for all

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Anti-gay marriage protesters return to streets of Paris

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France scraps sterilisation law for transgender people

    Read more

COMMENT(S)