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Abortions in France hit record high

The number of abortion procedures carried out in France during 2019 were the highest on recording, according to new statistics.

A report released by the French Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees), 232,244 abortions occurred in 2019, up from 226,812 in 2007 – their previous highest year. 

The figures reported also represented a significant increase from 2018, when 224,023 abortions were recorded.

The highest number of abortions was among women aged 20-29, with an abortion rate of 27.8 per 1000 women. In addition, of the 232,244 abortions reported, 93% (217,500) were performed on women living in metropolitan areas. 

A demography report released in January by the national institute of statistics and economic studies revealed that 753,000 babies were born in 2019, meaning nearly 1 in 4 pregnancies in France ended in abortion in 2019. 

The United Kingdom, which has a similar population to France, reported 220,967 abortions in 2019, a difference of 4.85% between the two countries.

Abortion in France

Abortion is legal up to 12 weeks in France and only if  “the continuation of pregnancy would severely endanger the health of the woman”, however, an amendment to their abortion law passed 60 votes to 37 in July to expand the abortion time limit up to nine months in the event of “psychosocial distress”.

Alliance Vita, a French pro-life group, expressed concern over the vague language of the new legislation as it “blows up the [current] abortion framework” as “psychosocial distress” is an “unverifiable criterion” which will allow an abortion until the last day of pregnancy.

The law was introduced as a last minute amendment to the Bioéthique Bill and was voted on in the middle of the night without a prior announcement or impact study. 

As a result of the timing, only 101 National Assembly members voted on the controversial Bill out of a total of 577.

Additionally, Alliance Vita objected to the lack of time taken to assess the consequences and impact of the Bill. One of the Bill’s main opponents, Emmanuelle Ménard, was unable to speak out against the legislation and its amendments during its Second Reading.

Extension of abortion time limits

A further change to the abortion law was submitted to the National Assembly on 29 September by rapporteurs Marie-Noëlle Battistel and Cécile Muschotti.

The bill calls for an increase in the current abortion time limit from 12 weeks to 14 weeks and the elimination of conscientious objection for medical practitioners unwilling to perform an abortion or refer a woman to another healthcare provider. 

Warning against the extension of abortion time limits, the president of the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians, Professor Israel Nisand, stated that, “The head of the fetus is ossified and must be crushed. The gesture itself is therefore terrible for the person doing it, and for the patient.”

According to Nisand, the abortion activists in France are out of step with nearly all French doctors, who have voted against the extension of abortion time limits four times. 

The proposed law is due to be debated on 8 October.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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