Natalia Rostovtseva , K. Yuchinson

Legal Ground of Artificial Termination of Pregnancy at Woman Request: Russian and French Experience

2023. No. 4. P. 259–281 [issue contents]
The article provides a comparative legal analysis of legislation of Russia and France regulating relations linked with the question of the artificial termination of pregnancy (abortion) at the request of the woman. First, the evolution of the development of abortion legislation in Russia and France is examined, then the provisions of the legislation on abortion at the present stage are highlighted, the legal nature of the right to abortion is determined and how this right relates to the right to life of the unborn child is established. Special attention is paid to government support for families with children in both countries. The policy of the Russian (Soviet) state on abortion is not consistent. In 1920, abortions in Russia were allowed, in 1936 they were prohibited, in 1955 they were allowed again, and since 2011, some restrictions have been re-established for abortions. Abortion legislation in France has developed along the path of liberalization. The gestational age within which an abortion can be performed at a woman’s request has changed from 10 weeks (in 1975) to 12 weeks (in 2001), and since 2022 it is 14 weeks (in Russia — 12 weeks). In 2014, the condition previously required for a voluntary abortion, namely the woman’s distress, was removed. In 2016, the period for a woman to consider the abortion decision disappeared from French legislation. However, woman’s right to an abortion is in conflict with the unborn child’s right to life. This contradiction is resolved as follows: a woman’s right to freedom is limited by the duration of pregnancy, as well as other rules established by law; after this period, the law ensures protection of the unborn child’s right to life. High and stable birth rates in France are the result of government demographic policies aimed at rise of population by supporting families with children. The authors believe that the policy of banning and restricting abortion in Russia will not lead to an increase in birth rates. More effective measures of state support are needed.
Citation: Rostovtseva N.V., Hutchinson C.S. (2023) Artificial Termination of Pregnancy by Woman Request: Russian and French Experience. Law. Journal of the Higher School of Economics, vol.16, no. 4, pp. 259–281 (in Russ.). DOI:10.17323/2072- 8166.2023.4.259.281
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