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French abortion providers question 'conscience clause' allowing doctors to refuse procedures

By Sarah Elzas

French lawmakers are pushing for a change in the country’s abortion law that allows for doctors to refuse to do the procedure on moral grounds. The so-called “conscience clause” came into the spotlight after the president of the French union of gynecologists and obstetricians made statements equating abortion with murder. In neighbouring Italy, over 70 per cent of doctors refuse to do abortions on moral grounds. How does this clause affect abortion providers in France?

(Click on the photo to listen to the report)

Among the voices in this piece are:

- Drs Emmanuelle Lhomme and Charlotte Besacier of the family planning clinic at the Hopital Cochin in Paris

- Marc Zaffran (aka Martin Winkler), French GP and abortion provider until 2008

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