On December 3, in a hearing at the French Senate, Alliance VITA appealed to the Special Bioethics Committee to conscientiously revise and upgrade its’ ethical decisions.
Caroline Roux, Alliance VITA’s Assistant General Delegate and Blanche Streb, Alliance VITA’s Training Director called for an honest appraisal of the human and social consequences of assisted reproductive techniques (ART), prenatal genetic screening, and for research using human embryos.
If the draft bill is approved in its’ current form, it would represent the collapse of most of the ethical barriers that France has allegedly held for the past 25 years. Alliance VITA calls for vigilance in the Senate to correct 3 serious injustices in this bill: allowing the right to have a child without a father, intensifying prenatal selection and the increasing use of human embryos as laboratory materials.
Three bioethical priorities must prevail:
- France must refuse the worldwide procreation market. Relinquishing the infertility criterion, would allow ART for women without a male partner, and be 100% reimbursement by the state.
- This creates a “right to have a child” without a father, to the detriment to the child’s best interest;
- It diverts medicine and health insurance funds, whereas the French are currently facing the delisting of many necessary drugs;
- This lays the groundwork for legalizing surrogacy.
- The issue of unreasonable prenatal selection should be re-examined. France is the most eugenic country in the world, with medically-authorized abortion rates at almost 100% for some handicaps. Instead of assisting traumatized parents when faced with a diagnosis of disability, the current draft provides additional widespread support for abortion, despite the government’s claim of being inclusive and tolerant toward those with disabilities.
- The fundamental principle to respect the integrity of the human race should be upheld: by maintaining the ban on creating chimerical animal-human embryos, transgenic embryos and artificial gametes. It is up to the senators to stand firm against scientific abuse, which would lead to:
- increasingly using human embryos as laboratory materials,
- using some human beings solely for research and/or profit,
- wiping out the difference between humans and animals.
Caroline Roux, Alliance VITA’s Assistant General Delegate :
“Together with the organizers of the “March for the Children!” we urge citizens to protest against the injustices in this bill, by taking part in the national demonstration on January 19, 2020. Technology alone cannot supersede our bioethics boundaries, whose purpose is to protect human dignity, primarily the lives of the most vulnerable individuals. Three significant priorities must be addressed: to genuinely fight against infertility, to stop the eugenic spiral, and to respect the integrity of the humans. Although totally absent in the original text, these issues were subsequently addressed in the National Assembly. Today, French Senators still have the opportunity to improve the protection of society’s most vulnerable individuals. “