Any woman, even a minor, can terminate her pregnancy under the conditions set by law. But before reviewing the legal conditions, a little step back is in order.

For a very long time, the woman lived in a France with two speeds, and while the girls of the good bourgeoisie having "fault", relieved themselves of the cumbersome burden in private clinics in Switzerland, the women of the common man, everything. at least those who had been lucky enough to survive the clandestine operations carried out by "angel makers" with the means at hand, were prosecuted in criminal proceedings and sent to prison (often on the accusation of the husband!).

Better than a long speech, nothing beats watching the film " a women's affair »By Claude Chabrol to measure the difficulties that those under twenty were lucky not to know.

The recognition of the right of women to dispose of their bodies is the fruit of a long struggle, both on the media level with the publication in the Nouvel Observateur of April 5, 1971 of the "manifesto of 343 sluts" signed among others by Simone de Beauvoir , Catherine Deneuve… and many others, who had the courage to say “I had an abortion”; that on the legal level where the battle was bitterly fought in particular, by Gisèle Halimi and of course Simone Veil.

All these actions resulted in the passage of the Veil law of January 17, 1975, supplemented by the Pelletier and Roudy laws of December 31, 1979 and 1982 (reimbursement of abortion by social security); the law of January 27, 1993, which completely decriminalized self-abortion; and the Aubry law of July 4, 2001, which extended the legal period from 10 to 12 weeks (L.2212-1 Public Health Code), authorized medical abortion by town doctors (2212-2 of the French Health Code) public and decree n ° 2009-516 of May 6, 2009), and adjusted the exemptions to parental authority (L.2212-7 paragraph 2 and 3 of the public health code).

But before reviewing the conditions of Voluntary Pregnancy Interruption, it is important to know that there are means of emergency contraception.

Emergency contraception

In the event of an accident, forgetting to take the pill, poorly protected intercourse, etc. taken soon after intercourse.

The morning after pill does not trigger an abortion. Its action is hormonal: It delays ovulation and will therefore have no effect if a pregnancy is in progress.

The morning after pill comes in the form of a tablet to take very quickly, the more time passes the less effective it is. There are two, one with levonorgestrel (Levonorgestrel Biogaran, Norlevo) which can be taken for up to 3 days without, or poorly, protected intercourse and the other with Ulipristal acetate (Ellaone) which can be taken up to 5 days after intercourse.

  • Underage girls can obtain it free of charge, anonymously and without a prescription in pharmacies, the school infirmary or a planning center.
  • Students, minors or adults, will be able to obtain it free of charge from the University Services for Preventive Medicine (SUMPPS).
  • For adult women, the morning-after pill will cost approximately between 7,41 euros (for levonorgestrel) and 19 euros (for Ulipristal acetate) and will be reimbursed by health insurance if it has been prescribed by prescription.

To know :

In full overhaul of their code of ethics, the Order of Pharmacists has asked the opinion of all its members to know whether or not it is necessary to include a conscience clause allowing them not to issue the morning-after pill for moral principles. Petitions from both camps were posted on the Internet and the battle was won by the collective of pharmacists against the conscience clause.

On September 6, 2016, the Order of Pharmacists gave up introducing this conscience clause in the new code of ethics for the profession (see the press release reproduced below).

Thereby, no pharmacist can refuse to sell the morning-after pill to anyone who requests it.

The legal framework for Voluntary Pregnancy Interruption

A woman who finds out that she is pregnant has the choice of continuing or terminating her pregnancy. In the latter case, it will be necessary to do it quickly because the abortion is framed by a procedure and very strict deadlines.

The prerequisites

Two prior medical consultations are compulsory.

The 1st consultation

The first consultation can take place in a doctor's office or with a midwife. It is a question of requesting the abortion, and you will be given all the information relating to the act during an interview and an explanatory guide.

If the person is a minor, they must pass a psychosocial interview following which they will be issued a medical consultation certificate following the interview.

The 2nd consultation

The patient must confirm in writing her desire to perform an abortion. After the interview, a second medical consultation certificate will be issued.

The act of interrupting pregnancy

There are two forms of abortion, one requires surgery and the other requires medication.

By surgical act

The surgery is performed in a clinic or in a health facility (hospital). It can be performed until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy, or 14 weeks after the start of the last period.

The act is to suck the egg after dilation of the cervix. The procedure can take place under local or general anesthesia. This choice is determined during an interview with the anesthetist.

The operation lasts about 10 minutes but the patient will be kept under surveillance for a few hours. A psycho-social consultation is systematically offered after the abortion.

By drug action

Medicated abortion, that is to say by taking medication, is dispensed in a health establishment, in a doctor's office, in a planning center or in a health center.

It can be performed until the end of the 5th week of pregnancy, ie 7 weeks after the start of the last menstruation and therefore, within a shorter period than that performed by a surgical act. However, if it is done in health establishments, this period can be increased until the 7th week of pregnancy, ie 9 weeks after the start of the last period.

To know

In case of uncertainty about the date of the last menstruation, it will be possible to know whether the conditions for delays are met by a simple ultrasound (the size of the egg determines the date of conception).

The drug technique involves taking 2 pills. The first taken in consultation and in the presence of the doctor or the midwife to stop the pregnancy. And the second take 36 to 48 hours later in consultation or at home to expel the egg.

To know :

Not all establishments practice both methods. Given the time limits in which the two methods are locked, it is preferable to inquire about the method used from the establishment.

In terms of consent, minors may choose to:

  • Obtain the consent of their parents or of a single or legal representative in order to be accompanied in their procedures and to benefit from their social security cover to cover costs.
  • Keep their procedures secret, in which case they must be accompanied by an adult in their procedures. In this case, the cost of care is 100% guaranteed.

The cost of a surgical abortion is between 463 and 625 depending on the establishment, the anesthesia and the length of hospital stay.

The cost of the medical abortion is 233 to 328 euros, depending on the health establishment.

Follow-up consultation after abortion

A check-up is scheduled between the 14th and 21st day after the operation, whether surgical or medical.

It takes place at the doctor's or after a midwife. They ensure that the patient benefits from an adapted contraceptive and can offer her a socio-psychological interview.

It may happen that the termination of pregnancy is not the result of a choice and will be imposed for medical reasons: it is therapeutic abortion.

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