NRL News

France Makes Abortion a Constitutional Right

by | Mar 20, 2024

By Samantha Farnsworth, Texas Right to Life

In a horrific move, France has become the first country in the world to explicitly enshrine abortion in its constitution as a right. This was a direct response to the 2022 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade (1973).

The constitutional amendment was passed via parliamentary vote, where tragically only 8.5% of lawmakers voted against the amendment. President of France Emmanuel Macron characterized the vote as sending a “universal message” of “French Pride”.

Unlike in the United States, France does not have a major political party that opposes abortion. Pro-Life French people are given few options for electing lawmakers that truly represent their values and little hope that preborn children will get any legal protection or regard.

With abortion as a constitutional right, France will likely have to allow abortion for any reason at any point in pregnancy. Any limits will restrict a constitutional “right” now guaranteed to the French people. But, abortion has been legal in France since 1975. The current law allows abortion through 14 weeks of pregnancy for any reason, and beyond that if two physicians agree it should be done for reasons of physical or mental health of the mother or severe fetal disability.

In a post on X, Macron wrote: “Across the world, we are witnessing a rollback of abortion rights and a rise in those who deny women the freedom to love, to choose, and to live. In Europe and beyond, we will fight for this right to become universal and effective.” Ironically, Macron characterizes Pro-Lifers as denying women the freedom to live, while he himself is the one denying preborn girls the actual freedom to live.

Before 2022, many French politicians including President Macron argued that the move to enshrine abortion in the constitution was unnecessary and a waste of time. Even some pro-abortion pundits and politicians have criticized Macron for using the amendment to bolster his international political clout.

The Catholic Church was one of the only groups to stand in opposition to the move. The Vatican released a statement stating that “there can be no ‘right’ to take a human life.” The Catholic bishops in France called for fasting and prayer in response to the anti-Life vote.

This move brings France back to a time where some human beings are considered less worthy than others, not just in the ever-changing law, but enshrined in the foundational document of a country.

Pro-Lifers need to work hard on the international stage to spread our life-affirming message, demonstrating to the world that it is possible to care for women and preborn children at the same time.

Categories: Abortion