Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris on Sunday, protesting a proposed law on artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood.
Chanting slogans such as Liberté, Egalité, Paternité (Liberty, Equality, Fatherhood), a play on the revolutionary cry calling for liberty, equality, and brotherhood, the protesters voiced their opposition to “fatherless reproduction.”
The legislation in question is a bill that would extend the availability of government-subsidized artificial insemination (PMA) to all women, including single women and lesbian couples, as well as opening the door to surrogate motherhood (GPA).
Protesters said the new legislation would “commercialize” women’s bodies, exploiting women, especially the poor, by inducing them to rent out their wombs as if they were merchandise:
According to one protest collective, the pro-family La manif pour tous, the law would voluntarily and intentionally deprive children of a father for their entire lives, with taxpayer money being used to finance a controversial medical procedure while opening the door to international trade in gametes, as France is already experiencing a shortage.
Such a regulation would voluntarily create “children who will never know the love, the face, the voice, or the advice … of a father,” the group said:
One of the marchers, 25-year-old Antoine, an engineering student in Nancy, joined a group of friends to “defend what is right, that is to say the birth of a child by a father and a mother, even if I understand the desires of lesbians and single mothers to procreate.”
“We must not confuse a wish and a right,” added Capucine, his fiancée.
The French Senate will examine and debate the proposed law on Tuesday.