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Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 03:25 GMT 04:25 UK
France approves new abortion period

The French parliament has approved a new law extending the period permissible for abortions from 10 to 12 weeks into pregnancy.

The move brings France into line with most of its European Union partners.

The new law also allows a pregnant girl under the age of 16 to ask for an abortion without consulting her parents first.

But she has to be accompanied by an adult of her choice.

The law was passed along partisan lines, with a majority of leftwing members of parliament voting in favour, and most conservatives opposing the changes.

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