Alliance VITA has renewed its request for the new French government to develop a genuine abortion prevention and provide more balanced information for women with unplanned pregnancies.

With more than 200,000 abortions performed annually, France has one of the highest abortion rates in Europe, as revealed by a comparative study presented to the Senate on July 19, 2017. The abortion rate in France is twice as high as that of in the 2 neighboring countries of Germany and Italy, which have reported a steady decline in abortion in recent years.

Whereas this situation should incite policymakers to work on preventing abortion, Alliance VITA warns on the measures previously introduced in the past 5 years (removing the distress criteria or period of reflection, increasing abortive medication prescribers, unequally reimbursing exams for pregnancy vs. those for abortion which are 100 % reimbursed by state health insurance, etc.), which thereby absolves society of any real means of helping women avoid abortion.

However, according to the survey “French and Abortion” (IFOP poll, Sept. 2016) 72% of those polled, request that “society should help women more in order to avoid having recourse to abortion” and 89% think that “abortion leaves psychological consequences that are difficult for women to live with.”

Alliance VITA also denounces the “outside pressure” put on women to have medically-induced abortions, which are constantly on the rise, and accounted for 64% of abortions in 2016. Falsely publicized for years as “less traumatic”, medically-induced abortions are largely ignored as being a source of suffering, as highlighted by an “INSERM” report.

Carried out prior to 7 weeks of pregnancy in a hospital setting (or prior to 5 weeks at home), this short time-lapse compels women to make a rapid decision. It deprives them of the time to reflect on a complex situation where human lives are at stake, particularly if being pressured by their entourage, especially male, or if experiencing domestic violence.

Pretending to promote gender equality, but denying pregnant women the right to express their abortion-related difficulties, while many men push their companions to have abortions is absolutely unfair. What if men were to get involved in abortion prevention? This is Alliance VITA’s conviction and thus a new prevention campaign was launched targeting men. (campaign site: http://levonslesmalentendus.alliancevita.org/). It remains essential to study the physiological and the psychological consequences of abortion.

In addition, priority should be given to undertake a genuine information policy, notably to reestablish readily available information on assistance and rights for pregnant women. Alliance VITA has been carrying out this public service mission since 2010 to compensate for the government’s lack to readily diffuse this information. (Refer to www.jesuisenceinteleguide.org)