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France Becomes First Nation To Enshrine ‘Right To Abortion’ In Its Constitution

France made history by being the first country in the world to include the right to an abortion in its constitution, a decision that was strongly opposed by pro-life organisations. In a special joint vote of the two houses of parliament, senators and members of parliament endorsed the motion by 780 votes to 72.

The French constitution’s Article 34, which states that “the law determines the conditions in which a woman has the guaranteed freedom to have recourse to an abortion,” was strengthened by the vote on Monday.

“We’re sending a message to all women: your body belongs to you and no one can decide for you,” Prime Minister Gabriel Attal told reporters prior to the vote.

Since a regulation passed in 1974, which was highly criticised at the time, women in France have been legally allowed to undergo abortions.

But after the US Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade judgement in 2022, which acknowledged women’s constitutional right to an abortion, activists pushed for France to become the first nation to expressly guarantee the right in its fundamental legislation.

A massive screen presented the results of the referendum, and as the Eiffel Tower blinked in the backdrop, abortion rights supporters assembled in central Paris cheered and applauded. The statement “MyBodyMyChoice” was flashed.

According to Laura Slimani of the feminist organisation Fondation des Femmes, “the right to an abortion has retreated in the United States.” Therefore, there was no reason for us to believe that France was immune to this danger. Being a feminist activist and a woman carries a lot of emotion.”

“France is at the forefront,” stated Yael Braun-Pivet, the leader of the lower chamber of parliament and a member of the centrist party of French President Emmanuel Macron, as cited by the news agency.

The far-right leader Marine Le Pen claimed that because the country has a strong majority in favour of abortion rights, Macron was exploiting it as a political football.

Campaigners against abortion saw this as a setback, according to Association of Catholic Families head Pascale Moriniere.

“It’s (also) a defeat for women,” she continued, “and, of course, for all the children who cannot see the day.”

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