A bill in France allowing single women and lesbian couples to conceive children through medical intervention has sparked outrage. Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Paris to express disdain over the new legislation.
The bill’s passing would mark French President Emmanuel Macron’s first major social reform. It aims to end discrimination over women’s reproductive rights by legally giving single women and lesbian couples the right to medically-assisted conception procedures including IVF and sperm donation.
Critics argue that the bill tramples the natural process of procreation with protest signs that read “Where is my dad?” Most demonstrators from Sunday’s protest are devout Catholics and activists of the far-right movement.
Speaking to UK news outlet The Guardian, one 40-year-old male protestor said: “We’ll fight to stop children being conceived without a father, you don’t make children in laboratories.”
Most protestors were reportedly active detractors of the country’s pro-same-sex marriage stance from seven years ago. The right to same-sex marriage was legalized in France back in 2013 which sparked massive protests that spanned for months. This led to violence between riot police and far-right groups as well as an increase in homophobic attacks in the country.
La Manif Pour Tous head Ludovine de la Rochère says about the demonstration:
“This protest is a warning to the government.”
The headcount was reportedly lower than the rallies from 2013 but organizers plan to hold further protests. French parliament’s lower house approved the draft last month and will be revisited by the upper house before it can be passed.