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France Makes History: Abortion Enshrined as Constitutional Right


Paris, France – March 5, 2024

In a landmark decision, France has become the first country in the world to enshrine abortion rights in its constitution. Lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill during a joint session of parliament at the Palace of Versailles. The final vote was 780-72, with a long-standing ovation following the result.

This historic move comes after a wave of concern over abortion rights in some countries, including the United States. French President Emmanuel Macron had previously proposed the amendment as a way to solidify women’s right to choose in France.

The new legislation modifies Article 34 of the French Constitution to explicitly state that “the law determines the conditions in which a woman has the guaranteed freedom to have recourse to an abortion.” This strengthens the legal protection for abortion access, making it more difficult for future governments to restrict it.

Reactions to the Decision in France

Women’s rights activists across the globe hailed the decision as a victory for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights. “France is at the forefront,” declared Yael Braun-Pivet, the head of the lower house of Parliament. “I’m proud of this Congress, which will say that the right to get an abortion will now be part of our basic law.”

Anti-abortion groups, however, have harshly criticized the move. They argue that the decision disregards the rights of the unborn child.

The Future of Abortion Rights

While France has taken a significant step towards solidifying abortion rights, the debate is likely to continue around the world. This decision by the French government serves as a powerful symbol for the pro-choice movement and may influence the conversation on abortion rights in other countries.

France’s bold step sets a precedent for other nations, emphasizing the importance of reproductive autonomy and women’s agency. As the 25th amendment to modern France’s founding document, this constitutional recognition reaffirms the principle that every woman has the right to make decisions about her body125.

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