Education

Foreign Exchange

November 22, 2000 1 min read

A recent vote by the French National Assembly has opened the door for school nurses in France to distribute a “morning after” pill to junior and high school girls.

The issue came to the fore last year, when France’s deputy education minister, Segelone Royal, authorized the nurses to dispense emergency contraception. It was a decision motivated by a sharp increase in teenage pregnancies and abortions in the past decade. More than 10,000 French girls younger than 18 get pregnant each year. Of those, 6,000 have abortions.

But in June, the Council of State, which is responsible for interpreting the constitutionality of French laws, overruled Ms. Royal.

The more recent Assembly vote came after France’s labor minister, Martine Aubry, proposed a plan to extend the cutoff date for terminating a pregnancy from 10 weeks to 12 weeks and to allow minors to have abortions without parental consent. The proposed modifications, proponents said, would reduce the number of women in France who make trips abroad to have abortions after passing the 10-week mark.

Andre Ulmann, a spokesman for HRA- Pharma, the French company marketing the medication as Norlevo, expects a law on those provisions to be adopted by year’s end.

Under the measure, which is expected to go into effect next year, school nurses would be allowed to dispense the pill only in exceptional cases and would have to ensure that the girls received psychological counseling and medical care.

“Most young girls come to us in a state of deep distress. We have very little time for any other options. We’re there to help them in these cases of extreme emergency,” Annie Filloux, a member of the National Union of School Nurses and Health Counselors, said of the situation in the Web magazine Salon.

Norlevo consists of two pills, one taken within 72 hours of intercourse, and the second, 12 to 24 hours later. It prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. Opponents contend that amounts to abortion.

—Adrienne D. Coles

A version of this article appeared in the November 22, 2000 edition of Education Week as Foreign Exchange

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Project Manager
United States
K12 Inc.
High School Permanent Substitute Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
MS STEM Teacher
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District
Speech Therapist - Long Term Sub
Woolwich Township, NJ, US
Kingsway Regional School District

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read