Abortion is now a constitutional right in France


On Monday, France was the first in the world to enshrine the protection of the right to abortion in its constitution.

“We owe a moral debt to all the women who suffered due to illegal abortions in the past”

– said Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, opening the debate of the joint session of the two houses of the parliament, the Congress. After 16 years, representatives and senators met again in the Castle of Versailles to amend the constitution, and with a large majority, 780 in favor and 72 against, they adopted the government’s bill, the text of which had already been separately approved by the National Assembly and the Senate.

President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the amendment as “French pride” and a “universal message”.

“Let’s celebrate together the inclusion of a new, guaranteed freedom in the constitution!”

– wrote the president in his message published on social media. Four days before March 8, the International Day of Women’s Rights, the reform inserts the following sentence into Article 34: “The law defines the conditions under which women can exercise their guaranteed freedom to terminate a pregnancy.”

On Monday night, the Eiffel Tower was also lit up for the voting. On March 8, 2023, President Emmanuel Macron committed to enshrining the right to abortion in the constitution after the US Constitutional Court’s decision to allow US states to ban abortion sparked concern in France.

According to surveys, more than eighty percent of French people support the inclusion of the right to abortion in the constitution, which gradually won a majority among politicians, and in the congressional vote, a significant majority of right-wing representatives, traditionally more skeptical of abortion, supported the reform. Abortion was legalized in France in 1975, four years after 343 women, including actresses Jeanne Moreau and Catherine Deneuve and writers Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras and Francoise Sagan, revealed in a then-shocking appeal that they had illegally obtained abortions.


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