Decline in Abortion in France: What the Figures Do Not Say

October 07, 2021

The abortion figures in France are falling: recourse to abortion is down 4% in the country. This data that should be qualified given the increase in medical abortions in the city. Progressive lobbies have taken the opportunity to demand a further extension of the time limit for access to abortion.

September 28, 2021 is dedicated to “World Abortion Rights Day.” It is on this day that the Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation, and Statistics (DREES) has chosen to publish the annual statistics on abortion in France.

The study showed there were 222,000 voluntary terminations of pregnancy (abortion) for the year 2020, a decrease of 4% compared to the previous year, after several years of increase in the number of abortions in the country.

The report from DREES - an organization that depends on the Ministries of Health, Labor and the Economy - also reveals that so-called “late” abortion requests, which occur in the last two weeks of the legal deadline did not increase over the same period.

“The increase in late abortions was put forward to deregulate abortion” - that is to say to increase the delays - recalls Caroline Roux deputy director general of the pro-life movement Alliance Vita. But “the abortions did not happen later than usual,” she continues.

Yet this is the red rag of an announced increase in late abortions for which family planning organizations and elected officials have been agitating for several months, asking for an extension of the legal deadline from 12 weeks to 14 weeks.

However, the figures prove them wrong, once again revealing the ideology which drives the action of the pro-abortion lobbies, and which nothing seems to be able to stop: “today, the deadlines are too short and three to five thousand women each year go abroad to have an abortion,” proclaims Albane Gaillot, ex-LREM MP who has been supporting the bill to extend this period for several months.

“Other countries, like Spain, are at 14 weeks. In Sweden it's 18 weeks,” she says.

But the DREES report shows that the relatively low number of abortions in May, June, and early July 2020 is not linked to “difficulties of access,” but to “measures taken to limit the spread of Covid.” In other words, “social distancing” has played a role in French intimacy, and led to a decline in conceptions.

In any case, the abortion promoters are not laying down their arms. Albane Gaillot's project, if it has received the approval of the Consultative Ethics Committee, splits the presidential majority. Emmanuel Macron, for electoral reasons, is opposed to it, while Christophe Castaner, boss of LREM deputies, is in favor.

In any case, we must not be deceived. In many countries these delays are steadily lengthening under the pressure of forces that are very difficult to stop. However, it remains gratifying that one of the strongest oppositions is coming from the medical profession, which is still repulsed, both for clinical reasons and for reasons of conscience, by abortion, especially late abortion.