It was 1.30 a.m. on the morning of June 10 when the deputies adopted the bioethics bill by 84 votes in favor, 43 against and 3 abstentions. A third express reading which is certainly only a new stage on the long legislative road, but which begins to resemble its conclusion strongly.
Basically, the text endorses the flagship measure that is the extension of medically assisted procreation (ART) to single women and homosexual couples, as well as 33 additional articles, on the self-preservation of oocytes without medical reason, the lifting anonymity for gamete donors, the establishment of dual maternal filiation in civil status, the explicit authorization of the creation of chimeric embryos, by adding human cells to animal embryos.
→ THE FACTS. The bioethics law adopted by the deputies
Controversial measures were however ruled out, such as taking into account a criterion of “psychosocial distress” to have recourse to a medical termination of pregnancy (IMG).
Does the text set up, in the end, a “better saying” or a “lower saying” ethics? Opinions diverge. For some, including Jean-Louis Touraine or Aurore Bergé (LREM), this bill offers “Good progress” in terms of equality, ” secured “ new family models and oversees research. “We are opening up new rights but also setting new limits. Anything that is feasible is not desirable ”, summarizes the member for Yvelines. A vision that some colleagues do not share. “Bioethics is meant to be protective law. This will be mostly progressive and cross too many yellow lines. “, deplores Julien Ravier (LR).
Home stretch, but no consensus
The voted text will continue its parliamentary shuttle, direction the Senate, where it must be examined on June 15 in committee and June 24 in public session. Before the return to the Assembly and a final vote on the text, only five days later, at the Palais-Bourbon. “The schedule is accelerating, proof that we are reaching the end of the procedure, notes a “walker” deputy. But don’t let them tell us that we are going too fast! Two years since the text has been studied at first reading, four years since it has been in the pipeline. There were six readings, 300 hours of discussion… At some point, you have to go! “
→ DEBATE. Bioethics Laws: Is Consensus Now Impossible?
Except that the text did not succeed in reaching a consensus between the two chambers. Last February, during its second reading, the right-wing majority in the Senate rejected Article 1 and the extension of the PMA while incorporating important changes on other points. Three months later, the deputies reinstate, article by article, the elements deleted by their colleagues. A ping-pong that could be endless, without parliamentary procedure giving the Assembly the “last word”.
Rejection without examination and feeling of waste
At the Luxembourg Palace, Bernard Jomier (socialists and allies) anticipates: “The case is folded, he comments. In theory, we could amend the text again. But the joint committee, organized after the second reading, last February, noted that the differences of views were irreconcilable between the two chambers. “
Therefore, the Senate “Is no longer able to weigh. ” For the chosen one, it is the consequence of “Hardening of the senatorial right between the different readings”. “In first, the Senate had validated the PMA for all”, he recalls. What if the responsibility fell instead on “Attitude” of the National Assembly, where the majority has shown itself determined to pass its text at all costs ?, nuance Corinne Imbert (attached to the Republicans group).
The result is the same. “In committee, we will consider that there is nothing to improve, imagine Bernard Jomier. Then, in sitting, the debate will be shortened and the text returned to the Assembly. It’s a huge waste ”, deplores the senator, in phase, once is not customary, with his colleague deputy (and on the right) Julien Ravier. “Traditionally, bioethics texts are the subject of a consensus between the two chambers”, explains the latter. This was the case in 2011, during the previous revision of the law. “We could have made nuances, on embryo research, for example. But the door is closed continues Bernard Jomier. It’s a shame: the bioethical debate is better than that. ”
“We must continue to raise awareness and alert”
Bishop Pierre-Antoine Bozo, Bishop of Limoges (Haute-Vienne)
“I am struck that citizens are not really aware of the content of this bill, for example the possibility of creating chimeras. We must therefore continue to raise awareness and alert. If we are not very vigilant, it is quite possible that surrogacy will be adopted at the next opportunity, while it is still excluded for the moment. As bishops, we have a mission to raise awareness: not to enter the political arena directly, but to say loud and clear what we think is good for man. “
Collected by Xavier Le Normand