France Enshrines the Right to Abortion in Its Constitution

France Enshrines the Right to Abortion in Its Constitution mind map
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France becomes the first country to enshrine abortion rights in its constitution
March 4, 2024
Response to US Supreme Court's 2022 decision to reverse Roe v. Wade
Fear that abortion rights could be eroded in France as well
Amendment added to Article 34 of the French constitution
"The law determines the conditions in which a woman has the guaranteed freedom to have recourse to an abortion"
Versailles, France
French Parliament
MPs and senators voted 780 against 72
Supported by
Women's rights groups
Prime Minister Gabriel Attal
President Emmanuel Macron
Opposed by
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen
Association of Catholic Families
Pushed by activists after Roe v. Wade reversal
Final vote in a special joint session
Protects women's right to seek an abortion under the constitution
Sends a message of bodily autonomy to women
Makes France a leader in reproductive rights
Criticized as political maneuvering by some
Claimed as unnecessary by opponents
Way Forward
Seen as a step to safeguard against potential future restrictions on abortion
Sparks conversation on reproductive rights globally

France has made history by becoming the first country in the world to constitutionally enshrine the right to abortion, following a decisive vote in Parliament. This landmark decision was influenced by the recent rollback of abortion rights in the United States and aims to safeguard women’s reproductive rights against future challenges. The amendment, added to Article 34 of the French Constitution, ensures women’s freedom to seek an abortion, a move broadly supported across the French political spectrum and by the public. While the decision has been celebrated by women’s rights groups and government officials as a monumental step towards protecting bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom, it has also faced criticism from conservative and anti-abortion groups. Nonetheless, this act solidifies France’s commitment to women’s rights, amidst a global landscape where such freedoms are increasingly under threat.

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