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French women forced to travel to Spain to avail longer abortion deadline

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With French lawmakers backtracking on a bill to extend the legal deadline for women seeking abortions beyond 12 weeks, thousands of French women are forced to travel abroad to terminate their pregnancies. Spain is an obvious choice, but it’s a costly option that evades impoverished and vulnerable women. FRANCE 24’s correspondents Laura Cambaud and Sarah Morris report.

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In 2019, the French Senate initially adopted a bill increasing the legal deadline for women seeking an abortion from 12 to 14 weeks. But a few days later, the conservative-controlled higher chamber backtracked on its decision in a second hearing of the bill.

While the debate continues, thousands of French women are forced to travel abroad each year if they miss the legal deadline. For many, Spain is a natural choice, since the country’s legal deadline is set at 14 weeks, or 22 in cases of medical problems.

Doctors say some syndromes cannot be detected before 12 weeks and many vulnerable women do not react quickly to their pregnancies.

What’s more, not all women can make it to Spain for a procedure that can cost between 300 to 2,000 euros in addition to travel and other costs.

Click on the player above to watch the full report by FRANCE 24’s correspondents Laura Cambaud, Armelle Exposito, Léa Caboche and Sarah Morriz.

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