Small study on Abortion in France
Unplanned pregnancies are far from being a rare event. On average, every woman in France would face it once in their lifetime and one in two would have recourse to abortion.
Overall, the number of abortions is relatively stable since the early 1980s.
An abortion for every three births
The number of abortions is around 200000 annually, nearly one abortion for every three births (725000 births in 1977, according to statistics from the civil status). Nearly half (46%) of women who had abortions in 1996 had between 20 and 30 years, 35% were between 30 and 40 years and 11% less than 20 years, 4% were under 18 years (data from the Ministry of Employment
and Solidarity ). After 40 years, there would be an abortion for every three births.
The majority of abortions take place before the 8 Th week
Half of women who resort to abortion are couples and for three quarters it is the first abortion. Only 5% have already had two or more. Three out of four abortions are performed early, before the eighth week and 19% before the fifth week. The majority are done by suction, usually under general anesthesia. The proportion of medical abortions (RU 486) has increased significantly.?
Strong regional inequalities
Nearly half of the 857 services gynecologists and obstetricians do virtually no abortions. Conversely, twenty services alone perform one fifth of abortions, resulting in regional inequalities and lack of access to abortion consultations, which probably explains why each year 5000 women miscarry at abroad because the legal limit of abortion is