Abortion in Belgium and France and the vacuum method in the USA

According to Dr Joan Fleischman,  who works in New York, training primary care physicians in a simple abortion method will help increase access to termination of pregnancy in the US, especially after the tightening of abortion laws in some states. Dr Fleischman performs a vacuum aspiration abortion – a medical procedure that involves the manual removal of the contents of the uterus using a small manual vacuum aspiration tool. It is a quick and non-invasive procedure.

In the US, more than 73% of primary care physicians believe that abortion is within their scope of practice, but less than 10% provide it to patients. Dr Fleischman and the MYA Network of clinics intend to launch training for doctors on the vacuum aspiration method to make it more accessible to American women.

In Belgium, abortion has been legal since 1990 under certain conditions – including that the pregnancy must be terminated before 12 weeks after conception. The Belgian government is currently considering the liberalisation of abortion laws. Experts propose extending the time limit for permissible abortion to 18 or 20 weeks, abolishing the mandatory six-day reflection period for women who decide to have the procedure, and completely decriminalising abortion, which should be treated as part of health care. France, meanwhile, will import abortion pills from  Italy due to a shortage of misoprostol. This is the measure used in 76% of the pharmacological abortions there.

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