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French lawmakers approve IVF for lesbians, single women

File photo: A doctor injects sperm directly into an egg during in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) at Novum clinic in Warsaw October 26, 2010. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP Paris Sep 27, 2019, 05.15 PM (IST)

France's lower house of parliament approved Friday a draft law to allow lesbian and single women to conceive children using donor sperm, a move that has already set the stage for street protests next month.

For now, only heterosexual couples have the right to use medically-assisted reproduction methods such as in vitro fertilisation, commonly known as IVF.

Given the green light by the National Assembly, the bill must also get the go-ahead from the upper house, or Senate, before it can become law.

It represents President Emmanuel Macron's biggest social reform since coming to power in 2017, but has drawn the ire of conservatives and even some in his own party who claim it would make children "fatherless".

Macron, who acknowledged last week the political risk of the legislation, is mindful of the backlash six years ago against gay marriage, legalised under his Socialist predecessor Francois Hollande.

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Given the green light by the National Assembly, the bill must also get the go-ahead from the upper house, or Senate, before it can become law.