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Legislation advanced in French parliament that could soon allow lesbians and single women to undergo in vitro fertilization.
The Guardiandescribes the policy shift as President Emmanuel Macron's "biggest social reform" since taking office in 2017. French law only allows heterosexual couples to utilize medical assistance for reproductive methods.
The National Assembly has now passed a bill 55-17 to allow female couples and single women to use the procedure, but it must also get through the Senate before it can become law.
LGBTQ groups are hopeful. "It's a big joy, it's a big success," Dominique Boren, deputy chairman of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Parents and Future Parents, told Euronews. "We have been looking forward to having this new law for at least six years so it is quite an achievement."
Boren said it's commonplace now for lesbians in France to have to travel to Belgium or Spain to seek medical assistance with pregnancy.
But a coalition of religious conservatives voiced opposition. An October 6 rally will be held by organizations saying letting lesbians and single women turn to IVF will "deprive children of their fathers."
"The state is going to lie to a child by saying that you are born from two mothers," far-right leader Marine Le Pen told The Guardian. She referenced a provision of the law allowing a child born to female couples through IVF to list both women on the birth certificate.
But Euronews cites polling that shows 65 percent of French citizens support the proposed law. France is one 10 countries in the European Union to prohibit IVF for both lesbians and single women, the outlet reports. Seven other nations allow single heterosexual women to undergo the procedure. Another 10 E.U. nations allow all women to go through IVF.