Abortion is now Legal in France

France has made history by enshrining the right to abortion in its constitution, becoming the first country to do so.

Parliamentarians have voted to amend the country’s 1958 constitution to ensure women have the “guaranteed freedom” to terminate pregnancies.

This marks the 25th amendment to modern France’s founding document, the first one since 2008.

Surveys indicate that approximately 85% of the public backed the reform.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal expressed concerns about the status of abortion rights, stating they were at risk and subject to the decisions of lawmakers before the vote.

“I am informing women, both within our borders and beyond, that the era of a world filled with hope is beginning,” he stated at a unique parliamentary gathering in Versailles.

Despite the lack of opposition from certain members of parliament, President Emmanuel Macron is facing criticism for allegedly manipulating the constitution for political gain.

Some critics argue that the revision is not inherently incorrect, but rather deemed unnecessary. They have accused the president of attempting to leverage the cause to enhance his left-wing image.

Abortion has been legally protected in France since 1975.

Since then, the law has been updated nine times, each time with the goal of expanding access.

France’s constitutional council, which determines the constitutionality of laws, has never raised a query.

Back in 2001, the council approved abortion citing the concept of liberty from the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man, which is considered part of the constitution.

Many legal experts argue that abortion is already a constitutional right.

A constitutional change was initiated due to recent events in the US, leading to the removal of the right to abortion by the Supreme Court in 2022. States can now prohibit the procedure once more, revoking the abortion rights of many women.

Many have welcomed the decision to include abortion in the French constitution.

During the voting, the Eiffel tower will sparkle, sending a message to the world. This message is crucial for the world,” emphasised Anne-C├ęcile Mailfert, a dedicated activist for the Fondation des Femmes, a women’s rights organisation.

“The emotions we are feeling today are so powerful and inspiring. We want to share this energy with other women and feminists around the world who are fighting for similar rights.”

However, the vote has not been welcomed by all, as the Vatican has reiterated its stance against abortion.

The Vatican institution and French Catholic bishops have both expressed concerns about the issue of taking a human life, stating that there can be no justification for it.

It called on all governments and religious traditions to prioritise the protection of life in this phase of history.

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