Single women and gay women should have access to in vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technologies, Frances national consultative committee on bioethics (CCNE) said Tuesday in a widely anticipated opinion.
The review by external advisers aims to inform the governments policy on a range of topics from end-of-life care to egg freezing, ahead of an overhaul of Frances bioethics laws expected this year.
In advocating for wider IVF access, the document said: “Access to a technique that is already allowed [for other parts of the population] does not cause any harm to the people involved.”
The French health system currently only provides assisted reproductive technologies for straight couples. President Emmanuel Macron vowed to make them available to gay and single women during his presidential campaign, but is wary of facing a similar backlash to his predecessor François Hollande when he passed marriage equality into law.
The French presidency was careful not to commit itself to follow the committees advice.
“We are not bound by this opinion,” the Elysée palace told Reuters, stressing the legislative debate has yet to come. “The debate on assisted reproductive technologies is an ethical one and it is not over.”
The opinion also cautiously backed allowing women to freeze their eggs as a way to extend their window of opportunity to have children, a technique thats currently only used for women donating their eggs to infertile couples.
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