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Each year, around 400 women go from France to a clinic specializing in abortions located in Heemstede, about thirty kilometers from Amsterdam. “Liberation” followed two of them.
«It’s your decision, are you sure? It is important.” In fluent French, the nurse who receives Diane makes sure once again that the choice of the young woman is stopped. Previously, a doctor had done the same. Square cut and clear eyes, bundled up in her scarf, Diane nods categorically. At 25, the patient, director in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), made the trip to the Netherlands to put an end to an unwanted pregnancy. According to her last ultrasound, performed the same morning at the clinic, she is nineteen weeks pregnant. It is impossible to have recourse to a voluntary termination of pregnancy in France, where the legal deadline is set at twelve weeks, against twenty-two in the Netherlands, one of the longest in Europe. So Diane made the trip to the Beahuis & Bloemenhovekliniek, a large brick building resembling a mansion located in Heemstede, about thirty kilometers from Amsterdam. The nurse reminds him of what to expect: medication will be administered to soften and dilate the cervix, which will have to act for about two hours. Then she will be taken to the operating room. “You will sleep, you will not feel anything. When you wake up, it will be over ”…