Paris, France, Jan 21, 2020 / 13:00 pm
Debate began on a bioethics bill in the French Senate Tuesday after tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Paris to protest state funding for medically assisted procreation for lesbian couples and single women.
"A child is a gift to be received, not an order to be manufactured. The absence of a father is an injury that can be suffered, but it is monstrous to inflict it on purpose," Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit said in a statement ahead of the protest on Sunday.
Critics of the bill have highlighted several bioethical questions surrounding in vitro fertilization, including preimplantation diagnoses, embryo storage, anonymous sperm donation, and the creation of so-called "savior siblings" -- embryos created via in vitro fertilization for the use of the stem cells in their umbilical blood to treat a sick older sibling.
Archbishop Aupetit, who practiced medicine and taught bioethics at a medical school before entering the priesthood, says it is urgent to raise awareness about the potential harmful consequences of this legislation for the most vulnerable.