Members of the French parliament were due to vote on Thursday to add abortion rights to the constitution in response to recent changes in the United States and Poland.
MPs from the left-wing France Amboud party and the ruling centrist coalition agreed Thursday on the text of the new article.
“The law guarantees validity and equal access to the right to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy,” reads the proposed constitutional addition to Article 66.
The initiative was fueled by this year’s explosive U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Americans’ national right to dismissal proceedings.
In Europe, the conservative Polish government also severely restricts abortion rights.
French Unbowed MP Mathilde Panot said the move was necessary in France to “defend against setbacks”.
In her speech before Congress, she quoted the late French author and women’s rights activist Simone de Beauvoir.
“It only takes a political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to become an issue,” she said.
The agreement was a rare example of the hung-up and often turbulent parliamentary cooperation between the staunch French supporters and the centrist allies of President Emmanuel Macron.
An earlier attempt to enshrine the rights of abortion and contraception in alternative terms was rejected by the conservative-dominated Senate in October.
If approved by the House, the new attempt also needs a green light in the Senate and must be voted on in a referendum.
Many conservative and Catholic politicians have expressed concern, thinking it was unnecessary given the legal protections already in place.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said in a statement this week, “It seems completely misplaced to start a debate that exists in the United States but not in France.”
“No political group would ever consider questioning access to abortion,” she said.
Abortion was legalized in France in 1974, a law upheld by women’s rights icon Simone Bert, Minister of Health, when she died in 2018, and was given a rare burial at the Pantheon by President Macron. was given an honor.
https://www.expatica.com/fr/general/french-parliament-to-vote-on-abortion-as-constitutional-right-816583/ French parliament votes on abortion as a constitutional right