On Tuesday October 27, 2015, the joint Commission counting seven deputies and seven senators were unable to agree on a common version of the Health bill.
This bill which was object of an accelerated procedure had been voted by the National Assembly on April 14, but the text voted in the Senate on October 6, had modified many points. The mixed parity Commission was thus charged with proposing a text on the contentious points remaining to be discussed, but could not achieve a consensus.
Certain points contain important bioethical issues. In particular, organ donation, human embryo research, funeral care and the objective contracts linking the Regional Health Agencies to the health establishments concerning abortion, are still discussed.
The text will first be submitted starting from November 16 to a new hearing at the National Assembly, then most likely in the Senate at the beginning of December. The bill will be definitely adopted by the Parliament by the end of 2015, the Assembly having the final word in case disagreement persists between the two chambers.
Concerning the main points on abortion measures, they were voted in the same terms by the two Chambers and cannot be modified: elimination of the one-week delay for reflection for abortion, authorization given to Health Centers to practice surgical abortion and for midwives to practice medical abortion (still remaining to discuss the necessity or not of incorporating the training of this practice into their initial studies).
Alliance VITA has denounced many times the absence of a true prevention policy for abortion, and considers that “incorporating help for women whose pregnancy in unplanned or difficult is essential for abortion not to be a fatality”. The Group Midwives for tomorrow equally took position, concerned about the new role to be given to them: « By making us support the ultra-sensitive question of medically induced abortion (half of all current abortions), it’s the whole balance of our profession that risks to be turned upside down. »