France: The Senate Rejects the Bioethics Bill

June 29, 2021
Source: FSSPX Spirituality
Senate Chamber in the Luxembourg Palace

The Senate has just rejected at third reading the draft revision of the bioethics law, which would have opened medically assisted procreation (PMA) to female couples and to single women, to genetic modification of embryos, as well as to the creation of animal-human chimeras. The National Assembly will have the last word on June 29.

On June 24, 2021, by way of third reading, the senators - mostly from the right - adopted, by 191 votes “for,” 61 “against” and 91 abstentions, a “preliminary question,” in other words a motion to reject the text up front, without examining the articles.

This is one way avoid commenting on the substance, and to avoid a debate that has deeply divided the denizens of the Palais du Luxembourg.

At first reading a year ago, the Senate did indeed vote on the bill, with its flagship measure of opening up assisted reproduction to female couples and single women, limiting itself to excluding coverage by social security. The Senate had even gone further than the deputies, in the order of transgression.

But at second reading, at the beginning of 2021, it was time for a turnaround: the upper assembly then adopted, in confusion, a text amputated of this emblematic measure, as well as of the opening to oocyte self-preservation.

The motion submitted on June 24, in the name of the Special Senate Committee, an act of differences between deputies and senators on developments in the PMA: “despite occasional contributions from the Senate incorporated into the text (modalities of the cross-donation of organs, neonatal screening, maintenance of DPI-HLA [pre-implantation screening with HLA typing to eliminate a family disease]), the dialogue between our two assemblies never took place,” as read in the text voted on by the senators .

Muriel Jourda, a Les Républicains (LR) Senator from Morbihan, lambasted 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 the socialist Bernard Jomier (PS), co-rapporteur of the project.

It is a National Assembly won over to progressive lobbies, which will therefore have the last word, on June 29, bringing the third revision of bioethics laws to an end, which began in 2018.