French LGBTQ are Still Fighting for their Reproductive Rights

France is not a stranger to finding clever ways to skirt LGBT rights. In 1999, the French government began allowing PACS, or civil unions, in order to avoid the issue of gay marriage. Though more secular now than in the past, lingering Catholic sentiment can be sensed in the treatment of the LGBT community with regard, specifically, to marriage and childbearing.

Now, government-run medical institutions are playing similar tricks when it comes to assisted pregnancies. IVF, or artificial insemination, is only legal for heterosexual couples, and so is not an option for lesbian couples or single women trying to get pregnant. Many end up going abroad to receive treatment, a costly and unnecessary expense. And gay men have just as much difficulty, as surrogacy is completely illegal in France, despite the fact that 62% of French people support its legalization.

The French government is set to review policies on IVF and surrogacy next year, with French president Emmanuel Macron supporting legislation for protecting a broader array of LGBT rights.