How do you have an abortion?

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In 2019 in metropolitan France, 15.6 women out of 1,000, aged between 15 and 49, had an abortion. This is +0.6 points higher than in 2018. In 2019, there was one abortion for every three births (approximately 232,200 abortions performed). The most affected women are between 20 and 29 years old (27.9 abortions per 1,000 women). Abortion is available to all women who respect the strict legal framework of the Veil Law of January 17, 1975, the Pelletier Law of December 31, 1979 and the Law of July 4, 2001. An abortion can be performed up to 14 weeks of amenorrhea or 12 weeks of pregnancy.

What is abortion? Is it different from abortion?

Abortion can be voluntary or occur without being intended (due to a genetic problem, a miscarriage for example). From a scientific point of view, abortion is the termination of a pregnancy caused by the loss of an embryo or fetus.

What is a spontaneous abortion, also called a miscarriage?

It is the expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus or the mother's body (for extra uterine pregnancies) at less than 20 weeks of pregnancy or 22 weeks of amenorrhea. The fetus weighs no more than 500 grams. As soon as the end of the pregnancy exceeds this term, it is called "fetal death in utero". The death of the fetus in the mother's uterus. We can talk about this in a future blog post.

What is the difference between an IMG and an abortion?

An abortion is the voluntary termination of a pregnancy. The reasons for an abortion are specific to each couple (economic reasons, contraception accidents...)

The medical abortion is provoked for medical reasons, often because of a genetic abnormality, a disease of the fetus that puts its life, its future quality of life in question. A medical abortion can also be performed if the mother's life is in danger (an extra uterine pregnancy for example).

Whether it is for personal or medical reasons, you have the right to be accompanied to end your pregnancy.

How is an abortion initiated?

In order to induce an abortion, it is necessary to have two medical consultations (doctor or gynecologist or family planning) which will allow you to know your possibilities, your rights and to accompany your reflection. The doctor will also make sure that you have free will. These two appointments are separated by 7 days. In France, a doctor can refuse this consultation but must OBVIOUSLY refer you to a colleague who can follow the procedure. Some doctors in France refuse to perform abortions. This is their right. However, they do not have the right not to refer you. This is illegal.

At the end of these appointments, depending on the progress of your pregnancy, you will be able to choose, in agreement with the specialist's advice, between two abortions. The abortion by aspiration of the fetus and the medical abortion which will trigger the abortion.

What is medically induced abortion?

Medicated abortion is effective in 95% of cases. This method is not a surgical act. It is possible in France up to 5 weeks of pregnancy or 7 weeks of absence of menstruation. It consists of taking two drugs under medical supervision that will trigger the abortion.

The first one (mifepristone) will stop and interrupt the pregnancy. Its purpose is to trigger uterine contractions and dilation of the cervix.

The second (misoprostol), administered about 2 days later, will cause the egg to be expelled vaginally. The expulsion of the egg can take place during medical supervision or arrive at home. It will take the form of very heavy bleeding. Each woman can be prescribed painkillers by her doctor. You also have the right to be accompanied by a psychologist if you need help to get through this stage.

What is abortion by aspiration of the fetus?

This method is effective in 99.7% of cases. It can be performed up to 12 weeks of pregnancy or 14 weeks since the last period. It is a surgical procedure that requires general or local anesthesia depending on your health and preference. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes. During this time, the doctor dilates the cervix and sucks out everything (embryo/fetus, placenta) with a small tube. As a result of this procedure, you may experience stomach pain, blood loss such as menstruation or fever. It is highly recommended to contact a doctor if these symptoms persist or are intense.

What difficulties can be encountered in having an abortion?

Today in France, some doctors refuse to perform an abortion by invoking a conscience clause. Some go further by complicating access to abortion, which is a fundamental right.

Abortion is currently limited to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond that, it is impossible in France to have an abortion. Many women travel to Europe to have an abortion.

Many websites and forums fight directly or indirectly against abortion. Beware of sites and hotlines that devote a large part of their content to maternity, to the so-called complications and traumas (mortality, depression, sterility, etc.) related to an abortion.

If you are a minor, you need written consent from an adult. It is also mandatory for minors to participate in a psychosocial interview before the procedure. Generally, minors who wish to have an abortion are accompanied by their parents. If this is not possible, it is possible to choose any adult to accompany the minor during the abortion procedure. Keep in mind that professional secrecy will be maintained!

Which sites are reliable for talking about abortion?

Give preference to official information and dialogue with health professionals. No judgement should be made on your decisions:

Below, the official state website and an anonymous and free number that will allow you to talk with health professionals.

  • the website www.ivg.gouv.fr

  • the anonymous and free number 0800 08 11 11 " sexuality, contraception, abortion ".
  • ivglesadresses.org
  • planning-familial.org
  • abortementancic.net (site created by the National Association of Abortion and Contraception Centers)
  • planning centers
  • information and consultation centers

Because Elia is much more than a brand of menstrual panties, we will always be there to share as much information as possible!


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