After two years of debate, France’s lower legislative house passed a law on Tuesday to allow single women and women who are coupled with other women to receive fertility treatments. Until now, only heterosexual couples were allowed.
French LGBTQ+ rights activists have celebrated the law as the latest victory for equal rights in the country, The Guardian reported.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government pushed through the bill after years of opposition protests and more than 500 hours of debate. The bill passed the Senate 160-116 in January 2020. This time around the vote was 326-115 in favor of the bill in France’s National Assembly.
Fertility treatment is free in France, so the law would allow lesbian couples and single women free access as well.
French women have previously gone to Spain or Belgium to receive fertility treatment, according to the BBC. The news service notes that the procedure can be very expensive.
Recently, an Ifop poll discovered that 67% of French people supported the measure.
Over 25,000 children — or 3.3 percent of births — were conceived through fertility treatments in France, reported the news service, which cited research from France’s national health insurance entity.
Officials believe the first children to be conceived to single women and lesbian couples would be by end of the year. This is unless right-wing politicians attempt to appeal to France’s Constitutional Council.
A spokesperson for the LGBTQ+ rights group Inter-LGBT, Matthieu Gatipon, told the Associated Press that the law was a “long-awaited progress.”
He added: “We are satisfied that this is getting done ... but this has been a painful birth.”