The French Senate revisits changes that would have extended the abortion deadline to 14 weeks

French senators backed off on a bill that would have increased the possible legal timeframe for an abortion from 12 to 14 weeks.

The bill was adopted last Friday but on Tuesday the French Senate changed its mind during a second hearing of the bill.

In a series of tweets, French senator from the Socialist Party Laurence Rossignol said she had decided to present the bill to fight against the closure of maternity hospitals and prevent doctors from turning women away because they did not meet the conditions for a late abortion.

One of the articles of the bill was also to publish a list of doctors who had refused abortion in the past to educate women and not “waste their time” in going to see these doctors.

He said that “there is no scientific consensus over a period of time necessary” for a safe abortion to be performed and that the change “represents an improvement in the sexual and reproductive rights of women”.

But the bill was rejected when it returned to the chamber on Tuesday after France’s right-wing Les Républicains party called for a second vote.

What is the law on abortion in France?

Abortion was legalized on January 17, 1975 in France under the “Loi Veil” (Loi Veil), in reference to the Minister of Health Simone Veil.

The law allowed legal abortion up to the 10th week of pregnancy and required parental permission for children.

The Roudy Law of 1982 (Roudy Law), named after the Minister for Women’s Rights Yvette Roudy, made abortions reimbursable by French social security. Twenty-one years later, abortion has become free for all women, regardless of the method used.

In 1993, a law was passed to penalize preventing or attempting to prevent an abortion by restricting access to facilities or threatening the woman involved.

In 2001, the legal deadline for an abortion was increased to 12 weeks.

What were the proposed changes to the current French law on abortion?

The Rossignol bill proposed to extend the legal deadline for an abortion from 12 to 14 weeks.

Why would women ask for a late abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy?

Some of the reasons women might be inclined to request a late abortion include: screening for major anatomical or genetic abnormalities in the second trimester, finding an unwanted pregnancy after 12 weeks, or a doctor’s refusal. to perform an abortion.

In France, between 3,000 and 5,000 women are forced to travel abroad to have an abortion after the 12th week, according to a government study 2013 on access to abortion.

What are the abortion rights in other EU countries?

Most EU countries have legislation allowing early abortion on request and allowing interruptions in certain circumstances beyond.

Leah Hoctor, regional director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told Euronews that 25 of the 28 EU member states have legalized women’s access to abortion “either at the request of a woman , without restriction as to the reason or for reasons of distress, or for broad socio-economic or psychological reasons, at least at the beginning of the pregnancy. “

Malta, Northern Ireland and Poland have the strictest abortion regulations in the European Union.

READ MORE: Which European countries have the strictest abortion rules?

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