France has no reason to bar lesbians from IVF, top court advises

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis greeets French President Emmanuel Macron during a private audience at the Vatican, June 26, 2018. Alessandra Tarantino/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – There are no legal reasons not to give single women and lesbian couples access to medically-assisted reproduction, the top state advisory body on judicial matters will tell the French government, Le Figaro reported on Thursday.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government said last year it wanted to change the law which currently restricts to heterosexual couples treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) that are widely available to all women in countries such as Britain, Belgium and Spain.

The Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest administrative court that advises the government on legal issues, will hand its report on planned revisions to the Bioethics Law to the prime minister on Friday, Le Figaro reported.

A synopsis of the report did not flag up any reasons why extending the right to medically-assisted reproduction to all women would contravene the constitution or common law, the newspaper said.

A spokesman for the court could not immediately be reached out of working hours.

If confirmed, the Conseil d’Etat’s stance would open the door to a major extension of gay rights in France.

France legalized gay marriage in 2013, after a tortured debate that aroused stronger than expected opposition in a country where the influence of the Catholic Church was thought to have been in decline.