Abortion: the Parliament adopts the extension of the deadlines

It is by one of the very last votes of the parliamentary session that the deputies adopted Wednesday, February 23 the bill “aiming to strengthen the right to abortion”. A text presented by deputies from left-wing opposition groups but which found the support of the majority despite the opposition of the right, the reluctance of Emmanuel Macron and the hesitations of the government.

→ READ. Emmanuel Macron and bioethics: between caution and opportunism

The text includes several measures including the extension from 12 to 14 weeks of the legal deadline for carrying out a voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG). It also plans to allow midwives to perform instrumental abortions and not just medical abortions. It also establishes the creation of a directory of professionals and structures practicing abortions.

Maintaining the “conscience clause”

On the other hand, the deletion of the “conscience clause” which initially appeared in the bill was abandoned during the long parliamentary discussion. The Minister of Health, personally in favor of extending the abortion period, had made it a prerequisite to allow the text to be voted on.

→ REPORT. Pre-abortion interviews, what women say

The government had indeed hesitated for a long time before giving its approval to the text and placing the bill on the agenda of the Senate. A gesture of goodwill towards the left wing of the majority, despite the great caution displayed by Emmanuel Macron. Extensions of deadlines are not neutral about a woman’s trauma,” assured the Head of State several times.

With the support of the majority, the bill tabled in August 2020 was thus able to overcome the obstacles of its very long parliamentary journey. It took three readings in each chamber, with three refusals from the Senate before the Assembly finally adopted the text.


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