France extends from twelve to fourteen weeks the term to abort

MADRID, Feb. 23 (Royals Blue) –

The National Assembly of France has approved this Wednesday a two-week extension of the legal term to abort, which will thus go from twelve to fourteen weeks of gestation.

The legislation, which has been approved with 135 votes in favor and 47 against, “will change the lives of women”, in the words of the deputy Albane Gaillot -independent-, who has prepared the text together with the deputy Marie- Noelle Battistel, of the Socialist Party.

According to official figures, collected by the French newspaper ‘Le Parisien’ between 2,000 and 5,000 French women travel each year to foreign countries where it is possible to terminate the pregnancy voluntarily later for not completing the procedure on time in France.

“There are also many women who cannot go out for media reasons,” Battistel lamented. Gaillot, for her part, has pointed out that these are the “most vulnerable women, the very young, the furthest from the health system, the women who have less access to health information, those who do not have means of transport or the who are victims of violence.

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It is not the only change introduced by the law, which also provides for the training of midwives to carry out “instrumental” abortions. Since 2016, midwives in France can carry out a so-called “medicinal” abortion, based on drugs, which can only be done up to the seventh week of pregnancy.

“They will be trained in this practice,” said Gaillot, who also stressed that the law will allow “fighting against medical desertification” in this discipline by expanding the number of authorized professionals. Currently, there are only 23,600 in all of France, which influences access to medical care.

In addition, the law will establish a directory with the contact information of all the professionals –doctors or midwives– who practice the voluntary interruption of pregnancy. It will be aimed at the professionals themselves and the people who have to use it.

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Gaillot has warned that the document will not serve to “denounce” those who do not, but instead seeks to “make life easier” for women.

On the other hand, the legislation maintains the conscience clause that allows doctors to refuse to perform abortions. The initial text planned to eliminate it, but parliamentarians had positioned themselves against it. “It is our only regret, but this clause is a true ‘totem’ for some parliamentarians,” Battistel lamented.

In 2019, a record number of women had abortions in France, 232,000. Some of them were forced to do so abroad because they had exceeded the legal deadline. Voluntary termination of pregnancy has been legal since 1975.

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