Abortion Conscience Clause: France is Pushing for a Change

On September 27, French Senator Laurence Rossignol announced tabling a bill to cancel the conscience clause specific to abortion, which has been criticized as being redundant with doctors’ general conscience clause. Although unlikely to be passed, this bill shows a stronger ideological pressure on doctors. In reality, the general clause does not protect doctors who don’t want to perform abortions, as explained by Alliance VITA’s special report: Are there “two conscience clauses” for abortion? About the recent and rather artificial controversy on the conscience clause, the French Health Minister, Agnès Buzyn, states her satisfaction that the number of abortions has leveled off: “What is somewhat reassuring, although not quite so, it is that the number of abortions in France has remained stable for the past ten years. On September 28, 2018, the Directory for Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (“Drees”) published, the abortion statistics for 2017, which totaled 216,700 (compared to 770,000 births). For the past 14 years, France has had a high abortion rate, with an average of one in 3 women having an abortion.  ]]>

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