“Let’s put an end to gender-based violence that does not speak its name”

Tribune. At the end of the first confinement, requests for voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) exploded, exposing the problem of a legal deadline of only twelve weeks. Member of Parliament Albane Gaillot (ex-La République en Marche) and Senator Laurence Rossignol (SOC), supported by many associations, then file a Law proposition to extend the legal deadline. Faced with strong right-wing opposition, this proposal was withdrawn in February 2021, but, thanks to the tenacity of feminist movements and parliamentarians supporting the proposal, it is back on the agenda.

The gender-based and sexual violence are more easily recognized as acts committed, mostly against women, with force or coercion, but they can also take the form of “Deprivation of resources or access to services”. In 2015, UN experts reported than “Criminalization or any other failure to provide services that only women need, such as abortion and emergency contraception, constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex”.

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In addition, it hinders five fundamental human rights : the right to health, the right to life, the right not to be discriminated against, the right not to be tortured or treated in an inhuman manner, and the right to privacy. By limiting abortion on demand to the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, France discriminates against all people likely to become pregnant who would need to access an abortion beyond this period.

More difficult situations because of confinements

In a context of a global pandemic where access to health care has become more difficult due to the multiple confinements and the pressure exerted on health structures, women have much more difficulties in obtaining legal abortions on time and are often required to travel to other European countries.

The bill, discussed since the beginning of the week, focuses on three main axes: the extension of the deadlines to fourteen weeks, the abolition of the double conscience clause of health professionals, and the authorization for midwives. women to perform surgical abortions.

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In order to reduce inequalities, it is essential to lengthen the deadlines, because of many barriers say “Invisible”, and which are superimposed on physiological and psychological factors such as irregular periods or denial of pregnancy, hamper the access of some people to the service by delaying the detection of pregnancies and the possibility of making an appointment.

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