According to The Guardian, the French parliament began debating the bill which will give single women and lesbian couples access to medically assisted procreation such as IVF and sperm donation.
“This is about what society we want to live in and offer future generations,” said the health minister, Agnès Buzyn. “It is about reflecting France as it is today and all French people in their great diversity...Same-sex parents and single parents exist today, that’s a fact, it would be hypocritical not to see them and not to recognize them [in law].”
Currently, French law allows only heterosexual couples who are married or who have lived together for more than two years to access these procedures.
However, it’s not clear whether the country is ready for this change. Demonstrators who oppose the bill are already planning to take to the streets of Paris on October 6, claiming that the new law will “deprive children of a father.”
Those in favor of the bill say it will eliminate what they see as a blatant discrimination against single women and women in same-sex relationships.
The country’s Catholic bishops have taken a strong stand against the bill and are rallying Catholics to oppose it.
“We hear and understand the suffering of those who cannot have children from their union with a person of the opposite sex and of homosexual women who aspire to have children,” said Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims, president of the bishops’ conference.
“But our societies are making a collective mistake when they pretend to resolve sufferings with medical and juridical techniques, and when they turn medicine intended for caring and curing into a vehicle for demands and frustrations.”
According to Crux, the French bishops have repeatedly outlined what was at stake in the projected measures, but added that the Church’s “attitude of listening and dialogue” had been ignored by legislators in “their fascination with the promises of medical and juridical techniques.”
De Moulins-Beaufort warned that the measures risked “pointing the way to a liberal eugenics,” and said the “beauty of parental love for children” could not justify “surrendering procreation to medical manipulation” and “family relationships to DIY.”
Archbishop Eric Aumonier of Versailles also weighed in, warning that the bill would “place the desire of adults before the welfare of children . . . The child risks no longer being received as a gift, but as a right,” he said in a Sept. 19 statement.
He also called upon Catholics to help “awaken consciences” by “explaining to friends, colleagues and relatives what is at stake.”
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