By Jenna Murphy

  PARIS, August 21, 2008 ( – Post 12-week abortions performed in France, which are only permitted for specific “medical reasons”,  increased by 10% in 2006 with a reported 6,787 compared to 6,093 in 2005.

  France’s Biomedical Agency (Agence Biomedicin), which released its 2006 figures on “procreation and human genetic activities” on Wednesday, reported that despite a decline in the number of files reviewed (2.5% less than 2005), the number of requests for ‘interruption of pregnancy for medical reasons’ (IMG) has remained constant since the last report.

  In France, abortion is illegal after the 12th week of pregnancy, but a woman can still procure one until the 32nd week if there is evidence of some kind of abnormality. Babies with Down’s syndrome, deformity or fetal abnormalities were victim to 76% of post-twelfth week abortions.  According to l’Agence de la biomedicine, only 2.7% of the abortions were performed in an effort to preserve the health of the mother.

  The figures from the report were drawn from 48 multi-disciplinary centers throughout France where physicians perform pre-natal diagnostic testing for various genetic conditions and disease processes. Based on the results of the tests, doctors decide if the baby in question can be aborted. 

  Permission was only denied in 1.7% of the cases examined (i.e. those who sought to abort cleft lip babies).

  Of the women in France who were given permission to abort, about 6% (402 women in 2006 versus 406 in 2005) decided to continue with their pregnancy.
  To see France’s 2006 IMG figures (in French):