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LES ECHOS

In France, Where Abortion Is Safe, Legal And Taboo

Four decades after abortion became legal in France, too often women face moral judgment and physical pain, not to mention unsympathetic health care professionals.

In France, Where Abortion Is Safe, Legal And Taboo
Cécile Deffontaines

PARIS — Alice was 20 years old when she had an abortion. It was in 2008, in an ordinary town in southern France.

"I was crouching down on the ground, contorting myself with pain, my forehead against a chair," she recalls. "I was in so much pain that sweat was dripping from my hair. I stayed four to five hours like that, all alone in a waiting room. Not once did the nurse who gave me the abortion pill offer me a painkiller. I was treated like a dog. As if I were the worst person in the world, committing an abominable act."

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Geopolitics

The Days After: What Would Happen If Putin Opts For A Tactical Nuclear Strike

The risk of the Kremlin launching a tactical nuclear weapon on Ukraine is small but not impossible. The Western response would itself set off a counter-response, which might contain or spiral to the worst-case scenario.

An anti-nuclear activist impersonates Vladimir Putin at a rally in Berlin.

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARISVladimir Putin could “go nuclear” in Ukraine. Yes, this expression, which metaphorically means “taking the extreme, drastic action,” is now literally considered a possibility as well. Cornered and humiliated by a now plausible military defeat, experts say the Kremlin could launch a tactical nuclear bomb on a Ukrainian site in a desperate attempt to turn the tables.

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In any case, this is what Putin — who put Russia's nuclear forces on alert just after the start of the invasion in late February — is aiming to achieve: to terrorize populations in Western countries to push their leaders to let go of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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