The Haut conseil à l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes (HCEfh) (France’s High Council for Gender Equality) has just submitted section 2 of its report comprising 40 recommendations to improve access to abortion to Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the Minister of Women’s Rights. The Minister stressed that "abortion is not something that has to be tolerated but a fundamental right available to all women".
– Dispel the notion of "distress" and replace the phrase in the French Public Health Code that says, "pregnant women whose condition places them in a situation of distress can ask a doctor to perform an abortion" by "any woman who does not wish to continue with her pregnancy can ask a doctor for an abortion."
– To remove the current 7-day mandatory reflection period
– To abolish the conscience clause for medical staff
– To get rid of health insurance documents relating to abortions in order to guarantee "confidentiality" for those women involved, which goes "against basic patient follow-up", for Bertrand Galichon, President of the Centre catholique des médecins français (Catholic Centre for French Doctors).
– To give a ruling on a moratorium regarding the closure of abortion centres
– To introduce abortion into medical studies right from the outset.
A leading phase 1 proposal, which has already been implemented, focused on the creation of a governmental information Internet site intended to counterbalance the "anti-abortion propaganda" "proliferating" the web.
One French woman out of three will have an abortion at some time in her life. 225,500 abortions were performed in France in 2011.