French IVF law change may result in shortage of frozen sperm

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France risks a shortage of frozen sperm if lawmakers approve new legislation that allows single women and lesbian couples access to in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and abolishes the right of sperm and egg donors to keep their identities secret, IoL reports clinicians said. Lawmakers in the country’s National Assembly start debating a bioethics Bill that unwinds some of western Europe‘s strictest rules governing medically-assisted pregnancies, a campaign promise of President Emmanuel Macron.

Under existing law in France, IVF is available only to opposite-sex couples, and only for reasons of infertility or the risk of transmission of a disease or medical condition to the child or either parent.

Health Minister Agnes Buzyn forecasts a roughly two-thirds increase in demand for IVF procedures, with an extra 2,000 women annually registering for treatment.

Medically assisted reproduction – such as IVF- widely available to all women in countries such as Britain, Belgium, Spain. But, the report says, in France, it has fed into a broader debate about the commercialisation of healthcare and gay rights.

The legalisation of gay marriage in France six years ago sparked massive street protests even though the influence of the Catholic Church was thought to be in decline. The report says in a sign France has become more socially liberal, polls show a majority of French people back the bioethics reform.

IoL report

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