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A pregnant woman lays with her stomach exposed on a hospital bed, and looks over to her side viewing a sonogram machine which displays a fetus.

A majority of French people would favor allowing surrogate motherhood, though primarily only for medical reasons, a poll showed on Wednesday, highlighting a shift in attitudes as France prepares to review laws relating to assisted reproduction.

All forms of surrogacy, where a woman gives birth to a child on behalf of someone else, are banned in France, as in several other European countries such as Germany. Some countries like the United Kingdom allow for altruistic surrogacies, not commercial ones.

The French government will launch a debate on a new bioethics legislative pact this year, which could see medically assisted reproduction extended to female gay couples and single women, a stance favored by President Emmanuel Macron.

He opposes introducing surrogate motherhood, however.

Until recently public opinion was also against surrogacy, but the poll by Ifop, published in La Croix, a Catholic newspaper, found that 62 percent of French people were now in favor of it.

Of those, 46 percent would only back surrogate motherhood if there were medical reasons to do so, while 18 percent said they supported it in all... see more