Senate votes PMA for all, not reimbursement for all

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The opening of medically assisted procreation (PMA) to single and homosexual women was validated Wednesday evening by a vote of the Senate, at the end of a heated debate on this controversial measure of the bioethics bill, promise of Emmanuel Campgane Macron. Article 1 of the bill was adopted by 160 votes to 116, the day after the rejection of several amendments requesting its deletion, brought by the right-wing majority of the upper house. The senators, however, canceled the choice, voted by the Assembly, to reimburse the PMA thus extended by Social Security.

The extension of PMA “May shock some of you for cultural reasons but it does not touch the fundamentals of our bioethics laws which are the non-commodification of the human body, the dignity of the body, the altruistic gift etc …”, argued the Minister of Health, Agnès Buzyn. “What future for children deprived of a father?”asked Senator Les Républicains Guillaume Chevrollier, where his colleague Philippe Bas drew attention to “The fault which is created in the personality in formation of a child who becomes adolescent, who becomes adult, when this lack which is created in him finds no answer.”

“I voted for same-sex marriage because I thought it useful, necessary, to socially recognize the existence of other couples, but I do not think I can vote on a much deeper evolution of the human race on which, I believe, reason must hold us back “, said Senator La République en route Alain Richard, former minister, testifying to the doubts expressed even within the presidential camp.

“Deterrent measure”

The debate on the reimbursement by Social Security of the PMA, in particular, gave rise to lively discussions. “I do not see the legitimacy of financing by health insurance something that is in no way medical indication”, argued Philippe Bas, the LR chairman of the Law Commission. You want “Exclude lesbian couples and single women from one of the foundations of our Republic, Social Security”, retorted the socialist Laurence Rossignol by criticizing a “Deterrent” and an “Financial penalty”. Michel Amiel, one of the five “walkers” who opposed the PMA for all Wednesday evening, found “normal” to reimburse her “From the moment we authorize it”, blaming right-wing senators for “Graze hypocrisy”.

Among other adjustments to the text, senators voted against the “double donation” of gametes, a measure defended by the government to allow the use of both an egg donation and a sperm donation in the context of an LDC. LR saw it “A break in the biological bond” with parents, while Agnes Buzyn supports a response to situations of “Double infertility” in couples.

Upstream of the PMA approach, they also added to the principle of a medical and psychological evaluation, a “Social assessment”. Leftist senators or LREM tried in vain to remove this “Evaluation”, the communist Eliane Assassi denouncing a form of “Stigma” and one “Class contempt”. PMA is “Seen by the Senate in a much less open way” that by the government or the National Assembly, Jacques Bigot (PS) had pointed out earlier while Laurence Cohen (CRCE) pointed to a “Deviation from the spirit of the text”.

The extension of the PMA was the subject of several demonstrations of opponents, the last, Sunday in Paris, gathered 41,000 people according to the police headquarters. Protesters also gathered on Tuesday outside the Senate. Twenty associations, including La Manif pour tous, are mobilizing against the “PMA pour tous”, promised by Emmanuel Macron during the 2017 presidential campaign, in which they see a first step towards the legalization of gestation for others ( GPA), prohibited in France. A mobilization which recalls, to a lesser extent, that against the marriage of people of the same sex, legalized in 2013.

The bioethics bill was adopted at first reading in the National Assembly in mid-October. Once voted in the Senate, the draft revision of bioethics laws, established as an extension of the laws of 2004 and 2011, will leave for the National Assembly, which will have the final say.

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