World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Abortion in France


Abortion in France

Births, legal abortions, and clandestine abortions in France between 1968 and 2005.

Abortion in France is legal on demand up to 12 weeks after conception (14 weeks after the last menstrual period),[1][2] since the Veil Law in 1975. Abortions at later stages of pregnancy are allowed if two physicians certify that the abortion will be done to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; a risk to the life of the pregnant woman; or that the child will suffer from a particularly severe illness recognized as incurable.

In the Middle Ages abortion was considered a cardinal sin.[3] Abortion had been criminalized in France with the imposition of the Napoleonic Code. During the German occupation during World War II, the Vichy régime made abortion a capital crime. The last execution took place in 1942. Following the war, the death penalty for abortion was abolished, and special courts were set up to deal with abortion cases.

Illegal abortion rates remained fairly high during the post-war period, and increasing numbers of women began to travel to the United Kingdom to procure abortions after the UK legalized abortion in 1967. France legalized abortion in 1975,[4] which was available on demand initially until the tenth week, which was extended to the twelfth week of pregnancy in 2001.[5] Since 1982, the cost of abortions are taken in charge by the French social security system.[6]

It is customary to schedule abortions one week after the patient demands it as a "cool-off" period, but this delay can be shortened if the patient is getting close to 12 weeks. After then, two physicians must certify that the patient's health is endangered or there is a high likelihood that the fetus is handicapped by a non-curable serious illness; otherwise, abortion is illegal.

Since 1994, French law has required that multidisciplinary diagnostic centers decide which birth defects are severe enough to make abortion after 12 week limits.[7]

France was the first country to legalize the use of RU-486 as an abortifacient in 1988, allowing its use up to seven weeks of pregnancy. By one estimate, a quarter of all French abortions now use RU-486.

A pregnant girl under the age of 18 may ask for an abortion without consulting her parents first if she accompanied to the clinic by an adult of her choice, who must not tell her parents or any third party about the abortion.[8]

As of 2009, the abortion rate was 17.4 abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44 years.[9]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "au Moyen Age, l’Eglise en fait un péché capital": Marie-France Morel "Histoire de l’avortement", Société d'Histoire de la Naissance, 2 January 2012
  4. ^ [5]
  5. ^ [6]
  6. ^ [7]
  7. ^ [8]
  8. ^ Abortion Guide (French) p. 34-35, from the French Ministry of Health
  9. ^ "World Abortion Policies 2013". United Nations. 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.