[ Press Release ] – Alliance VITA Denounces French Abortion Law : A Hard Hit Against Women

23/02/2022

PRESS RELEASE – February 23, 2022

Abortion: Alliance VITA denounces the new French abortion law as a hard hit against women.

The highly emotional issue of abortion deserves better than a phony debate and should never be treated lightly, neither from a simplistic perspective nor from the controversial angle of invoking a “right”. This law ignores the hardships of many pregnant women; those who are faced with an unexpected pregnancy, and who reluctantly abort under pressure, for lack of available alternatives.

For Alliance VITA, further extending abortion deadlines is a harsh offense to women whereas no provision is made in this law to help women who want to keep their baby because they are aware that a life is at stake. Parliament tackled this sensitive issue of abortion head-on, without any prior discussion or reflection for this irreversible act where lives are at stake. The government backed this law and pushed it through, however inadequate and completely out-of-touch with women’s real life.

It is high time for the public authorities to recognize that it is illusory to think that all women abort according to their own free will and by deliberate personal choice. It has been clearly established that abortion is a distinctive marker of social inequality and precariousness. The women with the lowest standards of living abort more as shown in the 2020 DREES study (Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics). The real priority is to protect women from all kinds of violence, including pressure from their partner to abort, but also from social and economic hardships, that can weigh on women at such a vulnerable time.

With France’s presidential election just two months away, Alliance VITA is calling upon the candidates to acknowledge the urgent need for a genuine abortion prevention policy. This would resolve a large number of personal tragedies by offering alternatives other than abortion.

This primarily involves:

  • Providing information on contraceptive efficacity and its’ potential mishaps: 72% of the women who abort were using contraception when they discovered their pregnancy.
  • Offering support and individual backing for pregnant women in difficulty.
  • Protecting women from the pressures and violence they may experience which may lead them to abort.
  • Briefing health staff and social worker actors on the pressure put on pregnant women.
  • Providing exhaustive information, in abortion consultations, regarding maternity rights and assistance for pregnant women.
  • Upgrading the government policy for families, to include appropriate measures that enable young women to reconcile family life, education, and their professional career.
  • Providing special assistance to young female students, since 20–29-year-olds account for the highest abortion rates, and 85% of unplanned student pregnancies result in abortion
  • Providing young female studants with financial help to continue their education, as well as housing and childcare solutions, and adaptations of their educational course to their situation as pregnant women and young parents.
  • Extending government subsidies to student couples who are expecting a child and/or who are young parents.
  • Implementing individualized backing and social assistance plan similar to « SAMELY » [1] provided for high school girls.

[1]   SAMELY is a system created by mothers of high-school students, (”PEP75”) supported by the Ile-de-France Region and the French Academy in Paris, which provides an inclusive global backing with individualized support for high school girls during their pregnancy and for young mothers to keep up with their schoolwork.

Press Contact +33 6 67 77 14 80 contactpresse@alliancevita.org

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