The National Assembly of France has endorsed a proposal to include the right to an abortion in the constitution.
A similar plan was rejected by the upper house last month.
Right-wing parties, which control the Senate, claim that France’s abortion laws are not in danger.
The National Assembly of France has endorsed a proposal to include the right to an abortion in the constitution, partly as a result of new limitations in other countries.
The inclusion of a provision ensuring “the effectiveness and equitable access to the right to stop pregnancy freely” was approved by a substantial majority of lawmakers.
The adjustment, according to the amendment’s proponent and left-wing MP Mathilde Panot, was made to guard against the “backsliding” observed in the US and Poland.
But passing the law will be challenging.
A similar plan was rejected by the upper house, the Senate, last month, and it is unlikely that they will support the proposed amendment. Right-wing parties, which control the Senate, claim that France’s abortion laws are not in danger.
A referendum would also be required for a constitution change, even if surveys show that more than 80% of French citizens support it.
After receiving the backing of lawmakers from Emmanuel Macron’s ruling Renaissance party, Ms. Panot’s amendment was approved; however, a mention of the right to contraception was removed.
Aurore Bergé, a Macron MP, had planned to introduce her own abortion proposal the following week but withdrew it after addressing lawmakers about the painful abortion her mother underwent before it was made legal in 1974.
According to her, the issue of abortion access and protection shouldn’t be politicized and is unrelated to party politics.
Eric Dupond-Moretti, the minister of justice, endorsed altering the constitution and hailed the “historic” decision.
Similar to its neighbor Spain, the French parliament decided to increase the legal window for abortion from 12 to 14 weeks last February. In comparison to other European nations like Sweden, the Netherlands, England, Wales, and Scotland, it is lower.
In honor of the women in the US, Poland, and Hungary, Ms. Panot voted on Thursday. The US Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and repeal the national guarantee for access to abortions served as the impetus for her push to amend the constitution.
While voters in states like California supported initiatives this month to enshrine the right to abortion in their constitution, thirteen US states have subsequently started implementing abortion laws.
Poland has a nearly complete prohibition on abortion, and this year they started enforcing a judgement that said it was unconstitutional to end pregnancies with foetal deformities.
The populist government of Hungary, meanwhile, has strengthened abortion regulations by mandating that expectant mothers show a foetus’s sign of life before requesting a termination.
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