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France passes controversial bioethics law


Sebastian Kaulitzki - Shutterstock

John Burger - published on 07/02/21

French bishop condemns bill for offenses against human dignity.

France’s new bioethics law is an ideological imposition that cancels each person’s human dignity, a leading Catholic bishop said in a statement, after the law received its final approval.

The National Assembly approved the law Tuesday with a vote of 326 to 115, with 42 abstentions.

The law extends legal access to medically assisted reproduction to all women, regardless of their sexual orientation or marital status. Before, it was allowed only for married heterosexual couples with fertility problems. Vatican News also speaks of other “critical issues“ in the legislation, regarding the cultivation and storage of reproductive tissue and embryos.

“Health Minister Olivier Veran said French authorities are getting ready to apply the new law as quickly as possible, so that the first children could be conceived by the end of the year,” the Associated Press reported. 

Passage of the law was a campaign promise by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims, president of the French Bishops’ Conference, said in a statement issued Wednesday, “Despite several years of debate, a logic has been established that makes the dignity of the human being a relative value. What we are seeing is the victory of an ideological will, in spite of the alarm expressed by our fellow citizens, based on simple common sense. The basis of French bioethics the country was so proud of, that is the dignity of every human being, has been cancelled.”

“The law may tell us what is legal,” said Archbishop de Moulins-Beaufort, “but cannot tell us what is good.”

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