medical termination of pregnancy authorized for "psychosocial distress"

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The National Assembly adopted the bioethics bill at second reading on the night of Friday July 31 to Saturday August 1. In the process, amendment No. 524 was passed to the bill authorizing the medical termination of pregnancy due to psychosocial distress, mainly supported by socialist deputies.


by Pascale Perrier

When the bioethics law was adopted, provisions were passed on the fly. Indeed, beyond the PMA, the deputies adopted less media-intensive measures.
On the night of Friday to Saturday, August 1, was adopted in the hemicycle, an amendment authorizing the medical termination of pregnancy (IMG) due to psychosocial distress to the detriment of the opposition and many associations.

IMG for "psychosocial distress"

Adopted at the end of consideration of the bioethics bill, the amendment on medical termination of pregnancy allows all women to terminate their pregnancy because of "psychosocial distress". A new criterion is added to the list.
As a reminder, the IMG, formerly called therapeutic abortion, can be performed until the end of pregnancy. It is performed when the health of the mother or child is in danger.
In general, it is offered when the continuation of the pregnancy seriously endangers the health of the woman or when there is a high probability that the unborn child will be affected by a particularly serious condition, incurable at the time of diagnosis.

Amendment 524 clarifies that this danger can result from "psychosocial distress".
"We see too often questions, see differences of interpretation on the advisability of taking into account among the causes of serious danger justifying the realization of an IMG, psychosocial distress" defended the socialist deputy Marie Noëlle Battistel.

A controversial motive

Considered to be an "unverifiable" criterion, the opposition as well as some associations consider this to be a legislative rider. "This provision explodes the abortion framework by adding the unverifiable criterion of 'psychosocial distress' to resort to medical termination of pregnancy (IMG), until the end of the pregnancy," denounces the association Alliance Vita. "The version issued by the National Assembly at second reading is even worse than the initial government version," said MP LR Thibault Bazin.

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