The debate will not take place

It was on June 24 that the bioethics bill was to be examined in the Senate, in public session and at third reading. The penultimate stage of the parliamentary shuttle, before the Assembly has “the last word”, this examination will not take place or, at least, will be shortened. The senators gathered in a special committee last week could only note the persistent differences between the two chambers. “We have come to the end of our discussions” was decided, reluctantly, at the end of the meeting. The text was neither adopted nor reworked (only 5 amendments had been tabled), and will be rejected without examination. A debate will take place on the 24th in the hemicycle of the Palais du Luxembourg. But it is on the last version of the text voted by the deputies that each group will be invited to speak.

We can expect parliamentarians to talk about “Mess” and regret the lack of consensus on such an important text. “The previous revision of bioethics laws, in 2011, was the subject of an agreement between parliamentarians”, will remind some. “ All this is the fault of the right, which hardened its positions between the first and the second reading, inciting the deputies to erase all the work of the senators », Will denounce the others. “No, the fault lies with the deputies of the majority, inflexible in their desire to have their version of the law voted”, will justify the third. “Introducing the PMA, which is a societal reform, in a bioethics text is the original sin of the bill, and has cannibalized everything”, will deplore the fourth. “Isn’t the Assembly having the last word all the same a hitch in bicameralism?” “, will challenge the last. The deputies, them, will argue that, despite everything, certain contributions of the Senate have been preserved in the latest version of the text, a sign of their openness. And that the text, the only one not to have benefited from an accelerated legislative procedure, “Took his time”.

And the rest? Once the impossibility of a deputy / senator agreement has been confirmed again, the text will be adopted definitively by the deputies, 5 days later, on the 29th. It should then be rapidly promulgated, “Before the end of summer” as promised on numerous occasions by the executive. Couples of women will be able to “Register for PMA courses from the start of the school year”, according to Olivier Véran. At the end of the day, if all goes well, first pregnancies during the presidential campaign, a reminder that the candidate Macron had kept his promises of the 2017 campaign.

Except that nothing is less certain. Procreation professionals have been warning for months about the shortage of gametes to come if demands increase, and the difficulties that could pose the lifting of the anonymity of donors to recruit. The risk: being forced to remunerate donors, or to have recourse to foreign clinics, which remunerate them. This would undermine one of the principles of French bioethics, the free donation. At least so far. While waiting (perhaps) for the next revision of bioethics laws in seven years.


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