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Israel Nisan: "Extension of abortion period is bad news for women's health"

2021-12-01T07:54:19.175Z

FIGAROVOX / INTERVIEW - The National Assembly again approved on November 30 the extension of the legal deadline for abortion. The obstetric gynecologist believes that to guarantee equal access to abortion on French territory, it is the hospital's resources that must be reinforced.



President of the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians, Israël Nisand is professor emeritus of obstetric gynecology.

FIGAROVOX.

- The extension of the abortion period was adopted at second reading by the National Assembly.

Are you in favor of this two-week extension?

Israel NISAN.

-

The later an abortion, the more dangerous it is and the more it is psychologically difficult for the women who resort to it.

The cervix needs to be dilated more, which can pose a risk of postoperative perforation and infection.

For 25 years in Strasbourg, I have never sent anyone abroad to perform a late abortion because the deadline would have been exceeded.

In my establishment, we performed 2200 abortions last year, including twenty who arrive beyond the deadline, which are either poorly informed or poorly accompanied adolescents, or denials of pregnancy.

In both cases, we take care of them, and we support them in a completely different way, adapting to each individual case.

At 16 weeks gestation, or 14 weeks gestation, the fetus is about 120 millimeters, its head is ossified.

To get it out, you have to dismember the fetus and crush its head.

It is unbearable for many professionals.

Israel Nisan

The claim, as the bill does, that 3,000 women are being sent abroad is completely unsubstantiated.

And, in any case, people who send women to have abortions abroad are unaware of the French law which authorizes an abortion without any time limit, called medical interruption of pregnancy (IMG), during which the woman is surrounded and supervised by the staff.

Let us not forget that the extension of the period of abortion is a ordeal for the doctors who have to perform an abortion.

At 16 weeks gestation, or 14 weeks gestation, the fetus is about 120 millimeters, its head is ossified.

To get it out, you have to dismember the fetus and crush its head.

It is unbearable for many professionals.

How to determine when one can resort to a medical termination of pregnancy (IMG) for psychosocial distress?

You cannot perform an IMG for psychosocial distress at nine months.

And if there are some who do, they are doing something that is not regulated by law.

In Strasbourg, we never exceeded the viability of the fetus for the reason of psychosocial distress.

When it comes to sticking a needle through a fetus' heart to kill it, we choose to let the baby be born and give it up for adoption, if that is the mother's choice.

Unless the unborn child is suffering from a serious pathology which authorizes recourse to IMG.

There is, however, unequal access to abortion across France.

How to fight against this without extending the deadline?

I hear this argument, it is totally legitimate.

In some hospitals, the lack of resources and personnel forces the teams to choose what the priorities are.

An extension of the deadline will not solve the problem, on the contrary, it requires more doctors.

However, we already do not have the means.

On the contrary, there will be even less because many doctors will refuse to do so if the bill is adopted.

On the occasion of the 2001 law on abortion, I brought about the establishment of a specific conscience clause which aimed to ensure that doctors who wish to apply it lead women directly to others. doctors able to perform the abortion.

Israel Nisan

The specific conscience clause has not been deleted.

Is this good news?

Yes. The conscience clause has been doubled to prevent doctors from hiding their wish to invoke the conscience clause from patients and dragging them out, thus preventing them from accessing the abortion within the required timeframe. On the occasion of the 2001 law on abortion, I brought about the establishment of a specific conscience clause which aimed to ensure that doctors who wish to apply it lead women directly to others. doctors able to perform the abortion. Thus, the conscience clause was maintained, but a restriction was made: the doctor who refused to perform the termination of pregnancy had to give the patient, without delay, the contact details of a colleague.

However, in the general conscience clause which cannot be removed, there is no such protection for women, which guarantees access to abortion.

We must not forget that the specific conscience clause is made to protect women.

Read also IVG: "The removal of the conscience clause raises legal and ethical questions"

In times of health crisis, was this debate welcome?

It's a disaster.

It is simply a maneuver to try to make believe that parliamentarians in favor of the text make women's rights a priority.

All the arguments that parliamentarians present to extend the deadline are false.

I have spent my life fighting for women to have access to abortion and I will continue to do so so that they benefit from this right.

For that, it is necessary to know which are the places where there is a shortage of personnel to practice them.

The urgency is to put the means in the hospitals to welcome women when they ask for it, and to carry out their abortions without delay.

Source: lefigaro

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