The demographic situation in France

A Steady Number of Induced Abortions, but Fewer Women Concerned

Magali Mazuy  By the same author

      Laurent Toulemon  By the same author

      Élodie Baril  By the same author


The number of induced abortions in France is fairly stable, at about 210,000 a year. The total abortion rate in 2011 was 0.53 abortions per woman during her lifetime. Recourse to abortion rises between ages 18 and 25 (the increase among under-18s recorded in 1995-2005 has slowed) and falls after age 25. The raising of the legal limit from 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy in 2001 led to an increase in the mean gestational age at abortion, but since 2002, it has resumed its downward trend as medical abortions have become more widespread (55% of induced abortions in 2011). The proportion of first abortions continues to fall, as does the proportion of women who ever have an abortion : according to the 2011 rates, one woman in three has an abortion at some time in her life. After a first abortion, the probability of having another increases ; it stood at 41% in 2011, compared with 28% in 2002 and 18% in 1990. In 2002, the probability of having an abortion did not correlate with previous abortion history, whereas by 2011 the probability of a repeat abortion was higher than that of a first abortion. More so than ten years ago, certain women find themselves in a situation of seeking abortion at various points in their lives.