• People gather for LGBT priests march to celebrate its 40th anniversary at the squares of Concorde and the Republic with one slogan: MAP for all. (Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Julien/Le Pictorium/Barcroft / Barcroft Media via Getty Images))Source: Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Julien/Le Pictorium/Barcroft / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Currently, only heterosexual couples can access services such as hormone treatments, IVF and sperm donation.
By
Michaela Morgan

28 Jun 2017 - 11:22 AM  UPDATED 28 Jun 2017 - 11:22 AM

A panel of ethics specialists in France has recommended that female couples and single women should be able to access medically assisted reproduction techniques, Reuters reports.

The National Consultative Committee on Ethics (CCNE) voted on Tuesday in favour of opening up assisted procreation techniques that are currently only available to heterosexual couples, including hormonal treatments, in-vitro fertilisation and sperm donation.

French LGBT+ rights groups have praised the recommendation and are now pushing for parliament to create the appropriate legislation.

Activist group SOS Homophobie wrote on Facebook in a post translated from French: “SOS Homophobia welcomes this opinion in favour of equal rights between heterosexual and homosexual. This is a progressive and humanistic opinion.”

“SOS Homophobia wants to meet with the government as soon as possible to ensure the speedy adoption of this important law."

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The group wrote in a statement that without legislation, women have been forced to travel abroad to receive treatment in countries such as Belgium or Spain—an process that costs thousands of euros and can pose risks to the woman’s health.

During his election campaign, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he was "in favour" of medically assisted procreation for lesbian couples and single women.

Over the weekend, thousands marched at the 40th Paris Gay Pride to remind Macron of his election promise, many carrying signs that read 'MAP for all' (medically assisted procreation). 

The president tweeted on Saturday: "France is a rainbow, we are rich in our diversities, let us be proud of ourselves! #MarcheDesFiertés # LoveisLove".

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The panel’s recommendation has been a long time coming; the process was first started in 2013 when same-sex marriage was still being debated.

Another rights group, name Inter-LGBT France, has cautiously welcomed CCNE’s recommendation, writing on Facebook: “Inter-LGBT is awaiting publication of the full text and will be vigilant with regard to possible restrictions that might be present in the opinion.”