On January 27 and 28, 1989 a workshop and a meeting were organized in Paris by Mouvement Francais pour le Planning Familial (MFPF/France) and the IPPF Europe Region. The workshop was held on the first day. 24 staff and volunteers from Planned Parenthood Associations of 15 countries attended, reviewing abortion laws, the definition of therapeutic abortion, and the incidence and problems of second trimester abortion. Second trimester abortion is available in only a few European countries. Second trimester abortions are rare in France (about 2000 per annum), and in 1986 1717 French women travelled to England in order to seek an abortion. All late abortions are performed for serious reasons. Older women may mistake signs of pregnancy for the onset of the menopause; and women fearful of social or familial punishment, especially teenagers, may be reluctant to consult a doctor. The experiences of Denmark and Sweden, where the problem is partially solved, suggest some strategies: optimize accessibility of contraceptive services, particularly for women at higher risk of late abortion; diminish the taboo surrounding abortion, so that women are less frightened to seek help at an early stage of pregnancy; make abortion services available in all regions of the country; avert time-consuming enforced waiting periods or consent for minors; and stimulate public information campaigns on the importance of seeking help early. On January 28 a meeting involving about 200 participants took place at the Universite Paris Dauphine, Salle Raymond Aron. Speakers at the meeting discussed the issue of late abortion in Europe, the difficulties of obtaining late abortions, counseling, medical problems, the woman's point of view, and possible solutions. At the close of the meeting, the MFPF called on the French government to modify some of the articles in the Penal Code that restrict women's access to safe and legal abortion.