“From marriage for all to technically organised procreation?”

Publié le : 5 March 2013

 In an article published by the daily La Croix, militants of EELV, the French Green party, consider that "the principle of non discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation is fundamental" and justifies that "couples must benefit from the same rights, including marriage." However, they emphasise that "to have a child is not a right." For this reason, the militants of EELV say that they feel "uneasy" because the "the extension of MAP [medically assisted procreation] raises major issues, not only in legal terms." They add that "the collective debate has not reached a conclusion" and that questions such as "the future of the persons conceived by MAP, the role of medicine in society", and "the link with surrogacy" are raised.

More specifically, the problem is MAP with third-party donors, "that is to say, using the sperm of a third party (currently anonymous)." Because, they point out, it has been found that "MAP with a third-party donor can be a source of psychological difficulties for the people conceived in this way." The EELV militants explain: "it is observed that a loving home does not always rule out existential anxiety about one’s biological origins, often a source of major and even disabling anguish for children, teenagers and adults who wonder about them." And the fact that there is no “monitoring of the 50,000 people conceived in this way in France over the past forty years […] ought to encourage prudence." Prudence that may also be justified by the fact that there exist "significant pointers to the malaise of certain people involving the absence of a link with their biological father and in the construction of their identity." Thus, in France, the association called Procréation médicalement anonyme (Medically Anonymous Procreation) wishes to remove the anonymity of sperm donors, and the American study, "My Daddy’s Name is Donor", highlights the fact that a large number of American adults born thanks to MAP with an anonymous donor wish to remove this anonymity.

Furthermore, MAP is nowadays "regarded as a medical act, as its name indicates; i.e. as a treatment usually for sterility, this being understood as the biological impossibility for a man or for a woman to procreate." For the EELV militants, "it is difficult to consider that procreation for homosexual couples is a form of medical treatment, as homosexuality is not a disease. Hence, these two types of infertility are quite distinct and, from this point of view, the reimbursement of the costs by medical insurance is under debate.” Another element is that "the techniques used [for MAP], depending on the cases, are not all devoid of risks." Hence, the use of MAP by homosexual couples is "a new use of the medical science and technique which calls for a debate in society." This debate will "re-examine and possibly update the bioethics law," which is "all the more necessary as the development of medically assisted procreation practices begins to include the sorting of spermatozoons and could thus lead to eugenics – which calls up sinister memories – and may not be devoid of risks for human biodiversity.

Lastly, the EELV militants highlight another risk if MAP were to be accessible to female couples or single women: that male couples or single men would "demand the right to use surrogacy in the name of the same rights for all." While the EELV militants are not opposed to the "regularisation in special cases of children born through surrogacy abroad with a French father," it emphasises that there can be no acceptance of "’buying a womb’ in a poor country or in France, and such behaviour ought to be prosecuted." They maintain that "it is wise to separate surrogacy, as well as MAP, from the context of marriage for all and from adoption, in order to allow time for mature thinking with all the players concerned: psychologists, doctors, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists and, of course, ordinary citizens."

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