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Bioethics bill: rejection in the Senate before final adoption by the Assembly – France

The project of bioethics law, whose flagship measure is the opening of the PMA to female couples and single women, was rejected this Thursday in the Senate dominated by the right-wing opposition, during express debates, and deputies will have the last word on Tuesday.

The High Assembly adopted by 191 votes in favor, 61 against and 91 abstentions a “preliminary question” presented by the rapporteur Muriel Jourda (LR), which led to the rejection of the text from the outset, without examination of the articles. This was the third passage through the Senate Chamber of this very sensitive text, the examination of which was launched in Parliament in the fall of 2019. The National Assembly may adopt it definitively at the end of a final reading Tuesday. The Minister of Health Olivier Véran has promised that couples of women will be able to “enroll in PMA courses from the start of the school year”.

Debates “parasitized by the mixture of genres”

The motion submitted on behalf of the Senate special committee reflects deep differences between deputies and senators on developments in medically assisted procreation (MAP), but also on the issue of research on embryos and stem cells. embryonic.

Muriel Jourda criticized debates “parasitized by the mixture of genres” between provisions “which fall under bioethics and other provisions which are societal”, thus targeting PMA.

This “split our debates” and “the government created the conditions for failure”, agreed Bernard Jomier (PS), co-rapporteur.

At first reading a year ago, the Senate voted for the bill with its measure to open up the PMA, however excluding social security coverage.

But at second reading at the beginning of the year, the senatorial majority had adopted in confusion the amputated text of this emblematic measure. The President of the Senate Gérard Larcher (LR) then regretted “that the Senate had missed the chance to improve the text”.

Unsurprisingly, deputies and senators had failed to find an agreement, and the National Assembly re-read the main measures of the text, starting with the PMA for all women.

“The Senate has missed out on History”

His supporters gave voice on Thursday in the Senate, environmentalist Daniel Salmon hailing “a major social advance”. Patricia Schillinger (RDPI) deplored a “motion of rejection which taints this bill” when the communist Laurence Cohen castigated “the political maneuvers” of a senatorial right which “has caricatured”.

“The Senate has missed out on history”, tackled the socialist Marie-Pierre de la Gontrie, while scratching the government accused of having too “temporized”.

“Excessive remarks”, swept Catherine Deroche (LR).

In addition to opening up assisted reproduction to lesbian couples and single women, the bill, which embodies the first major societal reform of the five-year term, provides for a delicate reform of filiation and access to origins, and addresses a number of complex subjects such as the self-preservation of oocytes or research on embryonic stem cells.

Fiercely opposed to the text, the Alliance Vita association welcomed in a press release the choice of senators not to be “the turkeys of the farce”, and denounced “a text of deep division”.

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