Abortion in France: taking stock

Publié le : 28 June 2013

 According to a study published on Friday 21 June by DREES, the statistics department of the social services ministries, "the number of abortions remained stable in France in 2011." There were 222,500 altogether, of which 13,200 were in the French overseas departments. In contrast, the share of medical abortions has continued to rise, amounting to 55% of the total number of abortions. The DREES study adds that "according to the provisional data, abortions did not increase either in the last months of 2012."
Overall, "the average rate of recourse to abortion in France is 15.1 out of 1,000 women aged 15 to 49" and "this rate is highest among women aged 20 to 24": 27 out of 1,000 in mainland France and 50 out of 1,000 in the overseas departments. 
Lastly, the DREES study emphasises that "this number of abortions, including among the youngest women, is not due principally to a lack of contraceptive cover," pointing out that 91% of sexually active women claim to use a contraceptive method. The study adds that "women are increasingly more aware of emergency contraception (ECP) and are increasingly using it."

Note from Gènéthique: It should however be noted that the morning-after pill can have an abortive effect when taken after ovulation, as it prevents the nidation of the embryo already conceived in the uterine mucous membrane. But this fact is not taken into account in assessing the number of abortions.  

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