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By an overwhelming margin, France becomes first country to explicitly enshrine abortion rights in constitution

by | Mar 5, 2024

Victorious pro-abortion activists beam ‘MyBodyMyChoice’ slogan onto the Eiffel Tower

By Dave Andrusko

While abortion has been statutorily legal in France since 1975, “France became the first country in the world to explicitly enshrine abortion rights in its constitution after French lawmakers overwhelmingly endorsed the change in a historic vote in the Palace of Versailles on Monday,” the Associated Press reported. “The amendment, which passed 780-72 in a special joint session of Parliament, changes Article 34 of the French constitution to state that ’a woman has the guaranteed freedom to have recourse to an abortion.’”

The British publication, the Daily Mail, reported that

Victorious pro-abortion activists beam ‘#MyBodyMyChoice’ slogan onto the Eiffel Tower after France votes to become the first country in the world to make abortion a ‘guaranteed freedom’ for women in its constitution. …

Nearly the entire joint session stood in a long-standing ovation during the historic joint session of the lower and upper houses of the French parliament at the Palace of Versailles.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 Dobbs decision overturning nearly 50 years of abortion on demand, French President Emmanuel Macron promised a response, making it all but impossible to save unborn babies. Macron described the move as “French Pride” that sent had sent a “universal message.”

Ahead of the vote, Prime Minister Gabriel told lawmakers, “We’re sending a message to all women: your body belongs to you and no one can decide for you.” Gabriel added, “’In one generation, one year, one week, you can go from one thing to the opposite.”

The National Assembly and Senate, had separately adopted a bill to amend Article 34 of the French Constitution, “but the amendment needed final confirmation by a three-fifths majority in the special joint session,” Barbara Surk and Nicolas Garriga reported for the Associated Press.

The French Bishops’ Conference issued a call for fasting and prayer.

“As Catholics, we must continue to serve life from conception to death, to be artisans of respect for every human being, which is always a gift given to all others, and to support those who choose to keep their child even in difficult circumstances,” the French Bishops’ Conference (CEF) said in a statement on Monday.

According to Daniel Payne, the prelates stressed the importance of “support[ing] those who choose to keep their child even in difficult situations” and “surround[ing] those who have resorted to abortion with our respect and compassion.”

“Let us pray that our fellow citizens will rediscover the taste for life, for giving it, for receiving it, for accompanying it, for having and raising children,” the bishops concluded.

“A group of about 200 anti-abortion protesters gathered soberly in Versailles ahead of the vote, some holding a banner reading: ‘I too was an embryo.’”

Categories: Abortion