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21 April, 2024
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France first in 50 years to secure abortion as constitutional right

France stands firm, ensures women's right to choose, says Macron


France has taken a historic step by becoming the first country in half a century to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right. The move comes amidst concerns over tightening abortion laws in the United States.

In an extraordinary joint session held at the Palace of Versailles, the bill secured a resounding 780-72 vote. Both chambers of parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate, had previously passed a bill to amend Article 34 of the French constitution. This amendment specifies that "the law determines the conditions by which the freedom of women to have recourse to an abortion, which is guaranteed."

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, addressing MPs and senators gathered for the special vote, stated, "We're sending a message to all women: your body belongs to you, and no one can decide for you."

The approval of the bill sparked jubilant celebrations across France, with women's rights activists hailing the measure promised by President Emmanuel Macron. This move comes in response to the rollback of abortion rights in the United States, where a 50-year-old ruling guaranteeing abortion was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022.

President Macron welcomed the "entry of a new freedom guaranteed in the constitution" in a post on social media and invited the public to attend a sealing ceremony on International Women's Day, March 8th. He reiterated his government's commitment to making women's right to abortion irreversible by enshrining it in the constitution.

Polls indicate that approximately 80% of French citizens support the legality of abortion.

France now joins the former Yugoslavia, which enshrined abortion as a constitutional right in 1974, as the only countries with such provisions. Laura Slimani, from the Fondation des Femmes rights group, expressed emotional support for the measure, emphasizing the global trend of restricting abortion rights.

President Macron's push for constitutional revision is seen as a strategic move ahead of the European elections in June. Despite opposition from the far-right National Rally party, with 46 of its 88 MPs voting in favor of the constitutional revision, party leader Marine Le Pen accused Macron of political maneuvering.

While the vote represents a significant milestone for women's rights in France, it also reflects a broader global debate over reproductive rights and political strategies in the run-up to crucial elections.

Cyprus  |  France  |  abortion  |  law  |  nation

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