Positive Steps Advance Reproductive Rights
March 1, 2022
Hillary Margolis, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
Over the past 10 days, France made two notable advances for reproductive rights. On February 23, parliament voted to extend the legal timeframe for abortion under any circumstances from the twelfth to the fourteenth week of pregnancy. On February 19, the government eased access to medication abortion as an alternative to more invasive surgical procedures.
France’s 12-week time limit for abortion on request had forced thousands of women annually to travel outside of France to procure legal abortions. Its new 14-week limit mirrors that of Spain, while other European Union countries go further: abortion for any reason is legal in Sweden up to 18 weeks and in the Netherlands up to 24 weeks.