French film on illegal abortion wins top prize at Venice festival

By Silvia Aloisi, Reuters
Sep 11, 2021

VENICE (Reuters) -"Happening" (L'événement), a hard-hitting French drama about illegal abortion in the 1960s, won the Golden Lion award for best film at the Venice festival on Saturday.

The film, by director Audrey Diwan, wowed viewers on the Lido waterfront with its portrayal of a young woman desperate to arrange a termination, at a time when it could mean a prison term or death, to continue with her studies.


France – Audrey Diwan aims for glory in Venice with portrayal of clandestine abortion

September 6, 2021

Italy, Sep 6 (EFE).- French-Lebanese director Audrey Diwan has caused a stir
with her immersive and visceral adaptation of L’événement, a novel through
which writer Annie Ernaux narrates her own secret abortion back in the 1960s.

The film puts the viewer in the shoes of the protagonist – played by the
French-Romanian actress Anamaria Vartolomei – while stressing the political
dimension of the original novel.


Europe – Online abortions boomed during the pandemic, and not just because of coronavirus

August 3, 2021

Hazal Atay, Women on Web International Foundation

The coronavirus pandemic changed the way people all over the world accessed abortions. As lockdowns and other restrictions made it difficult to seek in-person terminations of unwanted pregnancies, some countries made at-home abortions more accessible.

In France, the government temporarily changed
the law in April 2020 to allow at-home abortion until seven weeks of pregnancy
(or nine weeks since the last period). Teleconsultation abortions – where
abortion medication is taken at home in consultation with a medical
professional by phone or video call – are currently allowed until September


Telemedicine can help improve access to abortion in France, a new study suggests

For immediate release 29/07/2021
Women on Web

A new study published in the British Medical Journal Sexual & Reproductive Health suggests that telemedicine abortion provision, a temporary measure which is allowed in France within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, can help meet women’s needs and preferences for secrecy, privacy and comfort, while facilitating increased access to and enabling a more person-centred abortion care beyond the pandemic.

Marion* writes to Women on Web: “I know abortion is legal in France, but I will tell you why I will not be able to have an abortion here. My companion is a violent man, I will never be able to have the opportunity to go to a hospital or a centre without him watching me.”


French Manifesto of the 343 turns 50

April 5, 2021
By Marta Garde

Paris, Apr 5 (efe-epa).- Fifty years ago, 343 women in France were called ‘sluts’ for having the courage to sign a petition admitting to having had a then illegal abortion.

Claudine Monteil, one of the signatories, was 21 years old at the time and the youngest member of the group that included famous personalities such as feminist writer and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir and actress Catherine Deneuve.


France – ”No objection” from the ethics council to extending the legal deadline for abortion

"There is little, if any, difference in risk for women having an abortion between 12 and 14 weeks of pregnancy", according to the national ethics advisory committee.


Will the period of access to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) be reduced from 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy in France?

Before a review of the text in the Senate in January, the ethics committee - seized by the government after the approval of this reform by the deputies - said that "there is no ethical objection" to this .


Trailblazing French feminist Gisele Halimi dies aged 93

Agence-France Presse
28 July 2020

Tunisian-born French lawyer Gisele Halimi, who devoted her life to the feminist cause and was instrumental in winning the decriminalisation of abortion in France, died Tuesday aged 93, her family told AFP.

She died peacefully a day after her 93rd birthday, one of her three sons, Emmanuel Faux, told AFP.


From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion

From Poland To Uruguay, What The Pandemic Means For Abortion

Michaela Kozminova, WORLDCRUNCH

Across the globe, swamped hospitals and shelter-in-place measures have impacted people's access to healthcare for any number of non-COVID-19 issues. One of them is abortion, a time sensitive procedure that is also — even the best of times — both emotionally and politically charged.

Now, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some countries have used emergency decrees to change their policies related to pregnancy terminations. While several have extended access to abortions in an effort to ease pressure on women and guarantee their rights, others have seen the situation as an opportunity to make abortions more difficult to access.


Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

Abortion provision thrown into doubt by coronavirus pandemic

By Laura Smith-Spark, Valentina Di Donato and Stephanie Halasz, CNN
March 27, 2020

London (CNN)As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, women's access to abortion is one of many healthcare provisions thrown into jeopardy.

The UK government caused confusion this week when it first announced that women would temporarily be allowed to access early medical abortion at home, rather than attending a clinic -- and then, hours later, reversed its decision.


RÉUNION/FRANCE – Proposal to include the right to abortion in the Constitution of France

RÉUNION/FRANCE – Proposal to include the right to abortion in the Constitution of France

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Aug 7, 2019

The island of Réunion, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, is still a territory of France. Now, 50 members of the French National Assembly, including three from Réunion, have proposed that the right to abortion should be included in the French Constitution.

The French abortion law, the Veil Law, dates back to 1975, passed under Health Minister Simone Veil. Among the reasons that may hinder access to legal abortions today, however, despite this law, is the use of the conscience clause. In France, there is a general clause allowing “conscience” for all types of medical treatment, and a specific clause related to abortion. Feminist groups defending abortion rights have regularly called for the removal of the conscience clause for physicians in relation to abortion. On 26 June 2019, Marlene Schiappa, Secretary of State for Equality between Women and Men, described their demand as “legitimate” in a speech to the delegation for women’s rights of the National Assembly. She reported that committee had been set up in mid-June to determine what the “necessary legislative changes” should be as regards access to abortion. She stressed that it was important to allow time for this, in order to “involve all stakeholders”, according to Ouest-France.