Favourable opinion of the National Consultative Ethics Committee for Medically assisted procreation for all


This morning, the CCNE (French National Consultative Ethics committee) made public its opinion on MAP[1]. This opinion includes several decisions:

 

Despite well-known reservations, it delivered a favourable opinion concerning “medically assisted procreation for all”, in view of opening up artificial insemination with donor sperm[2] to all women”. It justifies this opening by relying “on the recognition of women’s autonomy and the child’s relationship in new family structures” and authorizes it to “alleviate the suffering induced by the infertility that results from personal sexual orientations”. The CCNE suggests that “the conditions to access and feasibility should be studied and defined while taking into account the various situations of same-sex female couples and single women”, and that “the social security should not have to bear the corresponding financial charges”. The opinion mentions denying or differentiating reimbursement”. The principle of free donation is maintained.

 

The CCNE underlines the fact that “this request must be confronted with the current rarity of gametes, which risks provoking the extension of waiting delays or the end of the concept of free donation. It notes that “it could lead to the commodification of human body products and question the French health system founded on altruistic principles”.

 

Among the reservations given, the CCNE believes that “the request of MAP, including artificial insemination with donor sperm, used to procreate without a male partner in the absence of pathological infertility, is the expression of a demand for freedom and equality concerning the access to medically assisted procreation techniques to answer the desire to have a child. This request leads to an obvious separation between sexuality and procreation, between procreation and filiation; It deeply modifies the relation of the child with its family environment, in terms of family reference points and of the ab initio absence of institutionalised fathers”. It adds that this demand “brings up several interrogations such as the relation of children with their origins since, in France, donations remain anonymous and free or on the fact of growing up without a father”. The CCNE mentions the absence of reliable research on “the impact this situation will have”, considers it a problem, but persists in its decision.

 

The Council also ruled against oocyte self-preservation “for all young women, in view of a possible ulterior use”. “Hardly arguable”.

Finally, the CCNE remains committed to the ban on surrogacy. It denies any form of “ethical surrogacy” and recourse to surrogate mothers. It wishes to strengthen the existing prohibitive measures.

 

Thus, once more, children seem to have been forgotten, as silent victims of the extension of a so-called right to have a child which finds no justification. Will the president Marcon follow the CCNE down this road?

 

[1] In France, it is, to this day, reserved to couples composed of a man and a woman in age of procreating and who suffer from infertility or risk transmitting a serious disease to their child.

 

[2] Artificial insemination with donor sperm