France Considering Allowing Midwives to Perform Surgical Abortions

A new amendment has just been adopted by French MP’s allowing midwives to perform surgical abortions on an experimental basis, as part of the bill to revise the National Health Insurance Program, referred to as “Social Security”.

The authors of this bill, tabled by the “MODEM” party (Democratic movement), explained that they have “to learn from the consequences of not having enough doctors to perform abortions, especially in rural areas.” This measure had previously been rejected in committee meetings. In spite of the absence of any reliable data and impact studies, the Health and Solidarity Minister, Olivier Véran, representing the government, supported this controversial provision.

A minority party, Ecology Democracy and Solidarity, had originally introduced this measure in a recent bill for extending abortion conditions, where it was rejected at the first reading.

Since this measure appeared unlikely to pass, the Health Minister is now using budgetary legislative guidelines as a ploy to force through amendments on the abortion law, in order to avoid opposition and debate.

Unlike physicians, midwives are neither trained, nor qualified to perform surgery. This issue raises obvious questions about the safety and the actual role of midwives especially since they would then have to carry out abortions up to 12 weeks.

Alliance VITA persists in denouncing this drive for more abortions and calls on the government’s responsibility to conduct an unbiased epidemiological study on the causes, conditions and consequences of abortion.

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