Prior to 1975, abortion in France was a capital crime. After the passing of the Veil law in 1975, abortion became decriminalized but only in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy (first trimester). After the twelfth week limit, two physicians must certify that the patient’s life is endangered or the fetus will have severe birth defects for the abortion to be legal post-first trimester.
Compared to in the U.S., abortion in France is not a contentious issue. In a recent segment of the radio show Worldview, host Jerome McDonnell interviews Jean Robinson, a professor of political science and expert on abortion policy in France at Indiana University to discuss abortion in France as a health issue, not a political issue.