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On-the-spot France

40 years since abortion made legal in France

Audio 03:51
Health minister Simone Veil at the French National Assembly on 26 novembre 1974
Health minister Simone Veil at the French National Assembly on 26 novembre 1974 AFP PHOTO

On 17 January 1975 abortion became legal in France. The Veil law, named after the health minister of the time, Simone Veil, allowed women to terminate pregnancies legally, pushing a practice that was happening in secret into the open. Forty years later it remains a pillar of women's rights in France but abortion is still taboo in parts of the world and access to the service is not easy.

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