The latest statistics in France confirm a persistent high abortion rate at 15.5 per thousand, over twice that of neighboring Germany. The majority of women (76%) underwent medically induced procedures with abortive pills, compared to 68% in 2019 and 31% in 2000. Often taking place at home (30%), this type of abortion which is performed prior to 7 weeks of pregnancy, can make a woman feel rushed, without allowing her enough time to consider her decision, especially if she is under pressure or if she is experiencing domestic violence.
The continual clamoring for the “right to abortion” always distracts our attention from having an objective look at the reality of abortion. This prevents any discussion about what a woman is going through or providing her with the needed support to avoid abortion. The prevailing atmosphere of abortion advocacy almost borders on disinformation. Activists insult women’s common sense by trying to make them believe that abortion is completely harmless, without any side-effects whatsoever. The media is discriminatorily silent about the various sorts of aggression women undergo when faced with an unexpected pregnancy, especially from men. In addition, serious misunderstandings between men and women occur due to the lack of information about contraceptive failures. It is illusory to think that all women choose to abort by their own free will.
Abortion should never be inevitable for those experiencing economic and financial difficulties. However, the national statistics’ bureau in France (« Drees : La Direction de la Recherche, des Études, de l’Évaluation et des Statistiques”) reports that women with the lowest incomes more frequently resort to abortion than others. In the current context of ever-increasing costs of living and cutbacks in subsidies for the family, how can we not be alarmed that abortion has already been identified as a marker of social inequality?
We must rally our forces to contest this situation. Prejudicially treating these subjects as taboo, is a grave mistake when abortion is an irreversible act where lives are at stake. Whether abortion is considered as a right or not – and even if there is still much opposition on this issue – this should not prevent our society from protecting the women who want to avoid abortion.
According to an IFOP survey conducted in October 2020, a large majority (92%) of the French believe that “abortion has psychological side-effects which are difficult to live with” and nearly three quarters (73%) of them also believe that “society should do more to help women avoid abortion ».
Alliance VITA continues to call for an evaluation to be conducted on the causes, conditions and consequences of abortion as a pre-requisite to implementing a real prevention policy which is respectful of women.