Rebecca Millette


Survey: 92% of French women consider abortion a traumatic event

Rebecca Millette

PARIS, France, March 10, 2011 ( – A recent survey done by OpinionWay on abortion and contraception mentalities in French women found that 92 percent consider abortion a traumatic event, and 83 percent say abortion is physically painful.

According to the survey, one in two women in France also said they had been misinformed about abortion or contraception methods.

At the same time, 82 percent of the respondents said they believe that legalizing abortion liberated women, especially from fear of unwanted pregnancy.

The OpinionWay was conducted in January 2011 and surveyed around 500 women over 18 years-of-age. 

In 2010, over 270,000 abortions were committed in France. While the number itself shows no significant change from previous years, it represents a marked increase in minors. 

From 2002 to 2009 the number of abortions on minors, girls age 18 and younger, increased 22 percent.  In 2002, abortions on minors numbered 11,000, but rose to 13,500 by 2009. 

Earlier this week a group of abortion specialists, gynecologists, psychologists, and sociologists met at a forum in Paris to discuss the topic “How to protect the right to abortion in 2011.”  Central to the discussion was the matter of pregnancies and abortion rates in minors.

The chair of the forum, Israel Nisand, reportedly blamed the rising abortion rate in minors on a lack of contraception and sex education.

Recent studies, however, including a key study out of Spain released in January, have pointed to a strong link between the increase in contraception and a rise in abortion rates. There is also little evidence to suggest that sex education that promotes contraceptive use is linked to reductions in teen pregnancies.

Full text of the survey (in French) is available here.

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