In 1975, the strict law was changed to allow abortion available on request until the tenth week of pregnancy, provided the woman first underwent counselling and then waited a week before the procedure.

After the tenth week, two doctors must certify that woman's health is endangered, or the foetus is handicapped. To get around this restriction, women more than ten weeks pregnant, sometimes travel to England.

In September 1988, France became the first Western country to allow the sale of the 'abortion pill', RU 486, which now accounts for an estimated 30% of all abortions in France.

The French government requires that each local area has at least one public hospital that offers abortion services.