Europe 1 with AFP 22:06, November 30, 2021

The National Assembly again approved Tuesday, after a split debate, the extension of the legal deadline for performing an abortion to 14 weeks of pregnancy instead of 12. This provision was adopted by 63 votes against 30 and 6 abstentions in the framework of the examination in second reading, started Monday, of a bill "aimed at strengthening the right to abortion".

The National Assembly again approved Tuesday, after a split debate, the extension of the legal deadline for performing an abortion to 14 weeks of pregnancy instead of 12. This provision was adopted by 63 votes against 30 and 6 abstentions in the framework of the examination in second reading, started Monday, of a bill "aimed at strengthening the right to abortion". The text was adopted in October 2020 in the Assembly before being rejected in the Senate, and a final adoption under the current legislature remains uncertain. 

The government, for its part, did not comment, only issuing a "wisdom opinion" on all the provisions of the text.

The Minister of Health Olivier Véran, a doctor by training, however, said he was personally in favor of this extension of the legal deadline.

The opponents of the measure have multiplied the interventions Tuesday to underline, like Fabien Di Filippo (LR), that with the growth of the fetus between 12 and 14 weeks "the act of abortion changes nature", with "gynecological consequences which can be serious".

"The 48-hour deadline", a deletion that is debated

Several right-wing MPs have pleaded for better access for women to abortion within the current deadline, rather than its extension. Co-rapporteur Albane Gaillot (non-registered, ex-LREM) replied that this measure was "not a fad of a feminist activist" but was inspired by "meetings on the ground". "The subject is not technical, the subject is the right of women to dispose of their bodies," she pleaded.

The deputies also abolished the 48-hour delay between the psycho-social interview and the collection of consent to an abortion, a provision which has provoked new clashes.

"This provision would make it possible to streamline the path for women and remove a provision considered infantilizing for the people concerned", argues the explanatory memorandum.

"There is no infringement of the freedom of choice. We do not eliminate the possibility of reflection for those who wish it", pleaded the socialist co-rapporteur Marie-Noëlle Battistel.

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