Conscience Clause on Abortion: « Sud Radio » interviews Tugdual Derville

On September 13, 2018, Tugdual Derville, Alliance VITA’s General Delegate was interviewed by Christophe Bordet, “Sud Radio’s ‘Truthful Voices’” program. He comments on an opinion expressed by a gynecologist-obstetrician on abortion, which captivated the media. Some quotes from the broadcast: “The words supposedly quoted from the doctor are not his exact words, because he did not pronounce the word “homicide”. In fact at the end of the interview, he replied to a scheming question, where he was asked if making an abortion was actually equivalent putting an end to life.” “Article 1 of the 1975 Act ensures “human beings must be respected from the beginning of life, this principle can only be exempted when deemed necessary and according to the conditions defined by this law.” The debate was focused on the word “life”. Is it considered as a life or not? Scientifically, I believe that the doctor knows it is. Just recently, I spoke to a gynecologist on the phone who exercised his right of conscience clause, which was respected. Simone Veil consistently upheld the principle that doctors should be able to refuse to practice abortions.” “The doctor answered this specific question because he uses his right to conscience clause and no longer performs abortions. In his research studies and his practice, he fights for life, to take care of women and to protect lives; he can no longer practice [abortions], saying “it’s my guts that speas to me” – perhaps a woman would say her “womb.” “I help some women, sometimes even after an abortion. And it is shocking to observe that propositions that previously existed to help these women no longer exist, and yet we all know that abortion is not an ordinary act.” “The law has been drastically changed since it was introduced by Simone Veil. The 7-day period of reflection has been abolished, which had previously allowed some women to resist to ‘outside pressure’; probably from their partner, but also to economic pressure.”We are living in a paradoxical society: on the one hand, the Health Ministry warns pregnant women of the dangers of drinking alcohol for their baby (…) and on the other hand, women feel distressed and under pressure to abort. I don’t judge those who resort to abortion, sometimes in utter desperation, often grudgingly, but never in a trivial manner. Therefore, Alliance VITA wants to raise the issue: even if we do not agree on the very principle of abortion, regarding the respect of life, (…): couldn’t we stop squabbling in order to help and warn those in need of help? Everything possible should be done to prevent abortion, and to listen to the women who suffer.” “This law was amended 7 times under François Hollande’s 5-year term, and all the clauses that helped avoiding abortion were removed. For example, the guide to help pregnant women, which was previously given at the first consultation for an abortion, disappeared. We publish this guide, and have asked the Health Minister to publish it again, but this has not been done. Alliance VITA, publishes this guide, and they are used by the social and public services. “ “Today, having an abortion performed seems to be a foregone, inevitable conclusion for an unplanned  or difficult pregnancy. However many women are seeking assistance: for housing, for employment, and support from their partner, but without psychological pressure, without social norms pressuring them… Women tell us: I am too young to have a baby, since now 30-year-old women are having babies. [At Alliance VITA], we simply help them acknowledge and fulfill their deepest desire. Oftentimes, this involves completing a full term pregnancy, receiving assistance, instead of reluctantly or grudgingly undergoing an abortion.”]]>

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