IVG: what is the double conscience clause that LFI wants to repeal?

IVG: what is the double conscience clause that LFI wants to repeal?


“Feminists will continue the fight, in particular to repeal the double conscience clause,” promised Monday March 4 from the podium of the Versailles Congress the LFI deputy for Val-de-Marne Mathilde Panotresulting to the inclusion of abortion (voluntary termination of pregnancy) in the Constitution. The leader of the Insoumis party in the National Assembly is not the only one within her parliamentary group to question the basis of this medicinal right. Manuel Bompardelected in Bouches-du-Rhône, coordinator of LFI, spoke this Wednesday on the set of “Télématin” of a “removal of the conscience clause” of health professionals for cases relating to the right to abortion.

LFI has the support of other parties such as Europe Écologie-les Verts. One of the senators from the EELV group, Mélanie Vogel, affirmed her opposition to this double conscience clause at the microphone of France Inter: “Abortion is the only medical procedure which benefits from this treatment and it is not normal. » Feminist associations have also become involved in this new fight. Family Planning, for example, considers on its website that this famous double conscience clause “weighs on abortion by contributing to an undue moralization of abortion”.

In the viewfinder, legislation which allows health professionals not to perform an abortion. The first clause included in the code of ethics of doctors stipulates that a practitioner “has the right to refuse care for personal or professional reasons”. It is not this first clause which poses a problem, but rather a second: this one, established in 1973 by the Veil law, allows doctors, midwives and nurses to refuse to perform an abortion for moral or religious reasons.

A vain fight?

Behind this legislation, the left-wing parties fear that many practitioners will resort to this double clause, thus preventing the effectiveness of the right to abortion in part of the territory. “Today, you have one in four women who are forced to change departments when they want to have an abortion because there are not enough practitioners,” Manuel Bompard stressed on France 2. A data confirmed (although reduced) by the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees) which calculated that 17% of abortions carried out were carried out in a department other than that of domiciliation of the patients.

However, today, a removal of the double conscience clause seems impossible to achieve. The government and the right being inflexible on the issue.

The Minister of Justice Éric Dupond Moretti assured on Sunday March 3 on Radio J that “the doctor who does not want to perform an abortion will obviously have the right and the freedom not to want to”. Senator Les Républicains Agnès Canayer added on France Inter her wish and that of her party to preserve this right promoted by the Veil law: “The government is committed to ensuring that there is no questioning of this conscience clause and we will ensure it. »


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