In France, in future artificial insemination will also be open to women and lesbians living alone: the Paris National Assembly voted by a large majority for a bill by the government, according to which all women can benefit from in vitro fertilization. Thus, the demand for anonymous sperm donations should increase significantly.
The bill still requires the approval of the Senate. In the three-day emotional debate, critics in the right wing had warned that many "children without a father" could grow up in the future. The French Episcopal Conference is against the innovation.
The new regulation is the core component of a bioethics law that Health Minister Agnès Buzyn defended as an "opportunity" for society. It depicts the modern family where there are children with only one parent or homosexual parents. According to her, the cost of artificial insemination for all women should be borne by social security.
Fertilization with sperm from dead husband further prohibited
On the other hand, by a narrow majority, the National Assembly rejected an amendment that was intended to give widows access to the sperm of their dead husband for artificial insemination. In Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom artificial insemination "post-mortem" is allowed. In Germany in the past there were cases in which women in vain complained about the release of the sperm of a deceased. The opponents of the thrust in Paris argued that such a begotten child then bore a "particularly heavy fate".
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Many members of the governing party La République en Marche (The Republic in Action, LREM) of President Emmanuel Macron and members of the opposition opposed the artificial fertilization of the deceased partner's sperm. They emphasized that a widow would be charged with "double mourning" if the death of her husband also left her wish for a child unfulfilled.
The initiators of the now-rejected amendment find it unfair that a widow can be fertilized in the future with the sperm of an unknown, but not with that of her own partner.
So far, artificial insemination in France is only allowed to heterosexual couples who can not father children. You must be married or live together for at least two years. Buzyn had already announced in the summer that surrogacy continues to be prohibited.
In Germany artificial insemination is theoretically open to all women - for single or lesbian couples, however, it is often difficult.