LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

European Court rules Medically Assisted Reproduction case 'inadmissable'

In the case of Marie Charron & Ewenne Merle-Montet v France.

ILGA-Europe regret that the European Court of Human Rights has today [Thursday 8 February] made an inadmissibility decision on medically assisted reproduction (MAR) for a lesbian couple in France, and believes it is a missed opportunity to provide clarity on such an important fundamental rights issue affecting many rainbow families across Europe.  

Given the current context in France where bioethics consultations are underway aimed at tabling a legislative bill to Parliament on this in the coming year it would have been a timely judgment.   

The National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) recommended in June 2017 that MAR should be extended to single women and women in same-sex partnerships, and a 2017 survey by IFOP and ADFH highlights that the majority of the French public is in favour of providing equal access to MAR to all women regardless of sexual orientation or partnership status.  

Katrin Hugendubel, Advocacy Director for ILGA-Europe, said: “The inclusion of the topic of extending MAR to single women and women in same-sex partnerships in the current bioethics consultation represents another opportunity to tackle discrimination single women and lesbian same-sex couples still face today. There have been clear signs of support from a majority of people in France as well as national institutions over the past year. ILGA-Europe look forward to a positive and expeditious outcome of this consultation.”