Maastricht, 15-16 October 1999: „Third FIAPAC-Konferenz“
12:00Training of medical and paramedical personnel working in the field of abortionChair:
- Marijke Alblas, ZA
In France, Belgium and Holland the teams are made up of multi-skilled staff :
psychologists, social workers, nurses.
A counselling session is compulsory in France and systematic in Belgium.
C. BIRMAN (F) is worried that psychologisation is moving the problem of legal
abortion from a collective one to one concerning the individual and thus bringing
in a sexist attitude.
P. CESBRON (F) would like to see an exchange between professionals and
Dr FIALA (A) reminds people of the important role of the paramedical team in
drug induced abortion.
Dr GOLSTEIN (DK) emphasises the specificity of abortion and the need for the
paramedical staff to have followed an appropriate training.
South Africa :
M. ABLAS shared her experience in South Africa where the legislation does not
solve all the problems of legal abortion, in particular relating to the mobilisation
of doctors. The problems are obviously greater for the poor, the better off
always being able to find solutions, albeit sometimes illegal.
Abortions are carried out by : gynaecologists and experienced general
practitioners, nurses and midwives.
A free service is available in the public hospitals, but there are few doctors and
In contrast there are more private clinics which are expensive and in the towns.
CYTOLEC is used to induce metrorragy , thus justifying hospitalisation.
In the 44 states where abortion is legal, it is carried out by specially trained
1/3 in hospital (NHS).
2/3 in private clinics where there is a lack of doctors.
Gynaecologists trained in t
he public hospital system.
Easier in the North of the country.
The Profamilia Centres (non profit making) lack doctors.
Gynaecologists and general practitioners, with practical training and for low pay,
carry out abortions in registered public or private centres.
Gynaecologists in the public hospital system and general practitioners in private
Flemish speaking areas: 41% in hospitals 59% in private clinics
French speaking areas: 11% in hospitals 89% in private clinics
There is a lack of doctors.
Gynaecologists in public hospitals: 7%
General practitioners in private clinics: 93%
Doctors receive a specific training period for abortions carried out in the first or
A hospital service deals basically with all the abortions.
Doctors are given an initial training.
A conscience clause exists.
Most abortions are carried out in private clinics by gynaecologists up to late
General practitioners can carry out abortions in their surgeries. The paramedical staff are recruited by the doctors without any specific training.
No control system or assessment of the work exists
18:00The responsibility of the professional when dealing with another countryChair:
- Anne Vérougstraete, BE
It is necessary to underline the fact that patients take a lot of time before finding
the right address for their situation. Doctors consider that they apply the law to
foreigners (with a reservation for abortion in the second trimester). Considering
the distances involved, legal abortion becomes an emergency that must be dealt
with within a day.
It is important to make sure the women know about the laws of the host
country. Patients should be sent with a gynaecological and general health report.
They should be told about the price, the travel arrangements, the town and the
methods used. It is necessary to inform the Abortion Centre of complications
that are seen at a later date during the follow up visit.
"Abortion tourism is sometimes the term used. It is more appropriate to talk
about involuntary migration of women.
Irish women go to the UK
Polish women go to Minsk and Holland
Portuguese women go to Spain
In Holland the service is free, but the E 111 form must be presented to get
one´s money back.
In France and Germany, it is forbidden to give addresses abroad, this is contrary
to the free circulation of information.
From the general discussion it came out that , while waiting for legal abortion to
be available and carried out correctly in all countries, patients must be informed
about the possibilities of legal abortions in the second trimester and doctors
must find out about clinics where it is practised.
The M.F.P.F. ( the French family planing service) reminds participants that there
is no legal action taken for giving information concerning the possibilities of
abortion over the legal limit abroad
In France ANCIC emphasises the fact that many doctors are prepared to accept
women who are over the legal period.
They reminded those present of their position in wanting to make it a non-criminal offence and to extend the legal period for abortion up to the viability date, as well as their active struggle in this area
Between Two round tables, a few brief points
Presentation of the association of Spanish clinics (ACAI) who wish to join the
The Spanish congress of ACAI in Servile in May 2000.
The story of a doctor from Lyon who had travelled to Albania and Kosovo and
who brought peoples attention to the large number of rapes that had been