Paris: Thousands of French conservatives took to the streets of Paris on Sunday (local time) to protest against a proposed bill that would allow single women and lesbian couples to access fertility treatments like in-vitro fertilisation. Currently, such procedures are only offered to heterosexual couples.
The bill has already been passed in the lower house of the French parliament and will be voted on by the Senate later this month, The Voice of America News reported.
If passed, the law would allow all women, under the age of 43, to access fertility treatments paid for by France's health care system. It would also allow children, conceived with donated sperm, to learn the identity of the father after they turn 18.
The bill does not address surrogate pregnancies, which are illegal in France. Polls have found two-thirds of French voters in support of the bill. Sunday's protests were reminiscent of demonstrations held when French lawmakers were considering legalising gay marriage in 2013.
Final parliamentary approval is needed to end the restriction on in-vitro fertilisation treatment, or IVF, only for women in a heterosexual relationship. Conservative and Catholic groups in France say medically assisted reproductive treatment deprives children of a natural father.