Question asked by Guillaume on April 1, 2022
You’ve asked us about several articles (here and there) claiming that the World Health Organization endorses unconditional abortion for up to nine months. A claim based on the new guidelines published by the WHO on March 9.
In this document (in English) in favor of safe abortion, the World Health Organization recommends, as well as in the press release (in French) “Removing political barriers to safe abortion that are not medically justified, such as B. Criminalization, mandatory waiting times, third party permit requirements (eg.
A WHO recommendation since 2003
Contacted by CheckNewsReminds the World Health Organization that they have been making these safe abortion recommendations since 2003. In this first edition CheckNews was able to state that the WHO already counts deadlines among the “Administrative and regulatory barriers to access to safe and legal abortion” and already offered “Modification or repeal of medically or legally unnecessary limitations on the length of pregnancy” for an abortion. The WHO emphasizes this CheckNews qu’“There is evidence that restricting access to abortion does not reduce abortion rates, but instead increases the likelihood that women and girls will have unsafe abortions at risk to their health and lives.
insist, “Worldwide, every second abortion is performed under unsafe conditions” and, “Every year 39,000 women and girls die from unsafe abortions and millions are hospitalized due to complications.”WHO justifies this proposal with the fact that “Where access to medical care is possible and accessible, abortions are actually more likely to occur earlier. For example, the vast majority of abortions worldwide occur within the first 12 weeks (90% in high-income countries, 2/3 occur before 9 weeks gestation). Health care delays and legal barriers often delay women’s access to the care they need. Hence the recommendation to remove medically unnecessary barriers to access to care from legislation. As with all health matters, medical considerations apply to the provision of abortion treatment and services.”
No gestational age limit in Canada and sometimes in the United States
In France, a bill passed on February 23 extended the legal period for voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) to 14 weeks. A medical abortion, which as the name suggests is performed for medical reasons, can be performed until the end of the pregnancy. Regarding abortion, several European countries have longer abortion periods, such as Sweden (18 weeks) or the UK, where women can choose to have an abortion up to 24 weeks.
The WHO proposal, which would consist in removing the pregnancy limit for performing an abortion, exists in certain countries such as Canada. In 1988, Canada’s Supreme Court found that the criminalization of abortion and legal restrictions violated a woman’s right to an abortion “Life, Liberty and Security of Person”. There is no legal limit for the gestational age. Canadian women can therefore legally choose to have an abortion up to the last week of pregnancy. In practice, however, several Canadian sites point out that after the 23rd week, an abortion in Canada becomes more difficult due to doctors’ refusals and women are then recommended to go to certain states of the United States (Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire , New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont) where abortions can be performed with no gestational limit.