France becomes first country to enshrine abortion in constitution

PHOTO: Unsplash/Alice Triquet/The Christian Post

Originally published in The Christian Post

France became the first nation to enshrine abortion in its national constitution in an overwhelming vote that prompted a standing ovation from the French Parliament in Versailles on Monday.

French lawmakers overwhelmingly voted 780-72 in favor of the bill to amend Article 34 of the French constitution. The measure was introduced in January and passed by the French Senate last week. 

When the final vote was announced, the room in Versailles Palace erupted with sustained applause, and many who were gathered in Paris’ Trocadéro Square to watch the vote on a large screen also cheered as the amendment passed, according to The New York Times.

While abortion has been legal in France since 1975, the new legislative move has made abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy a “guaranteed freedom” for French women, and future French governments will be barred from drastically modifying it. Abortions are allowed after 14 weeks if the pregnancy poses a threat to the health of the mother or the baby exhibits genetic anomalies.

French legislators were reportedly driven by the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, ruling that a right to abortion is not in the US Constitution.

French President Emmanuel Macron backed the measure to amend the French constitution, which was adopted in 1958 and only amended about 20 times since.

Macron again tweeted last week in support of the amendment, writing” “I am committed to making women’s freedom to have an abortion irreversible by enshrining it in the Constitution.”

“After the National Assembly, the Senate is taking a decisive step which I welcome. For the final vote, I will convene Parliament in Congress on March 4,” he wrote.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, 34, supported the measure.

“We are sending the message to all women: Your body belongs to you and no one has the right to control it in your stead,” he said during a speech before the final tally, according to The New York Times.

While the amendment was evidently popular among French legislators and many French citizens, it drew condemnation from the Vatican and the French Conference of Bishops (CEF).

In a statement last week, the CEF stated that abortion “remains an attack on life from the very beginning” and cannot be seen exclusively from the “angle of women’s rights”. The bishops expressed sadness that the government did not instead focus on promoting the rights of women and children.

In a similar statement, the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) said, “In the era of universal human rights, there cannot be a ‘right’ to taking a human life,” according to Vatican News.

PAV added that all governments and religious traditions must “do their best so that at this stage in history, the protection of life becomes an absolute priority, with concrete steps in favour of peace and social justice and with effective measures for a universal access to resources, education and healthcare”.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Please help us to keep on publishing news that brings Hope in Jesus:

>> Donate  >> Become a Super Subscriber

Click to join movement


You are welcome to engage with our articles by making comments [in the Comments area below] that add value to a topic or to engage in thoughtful, constructive discussion with fellow readers. Comments that contain vulgar language will be removed. Hostile, demeaning, disrespectful, propagandistic and off-topic comments may also be moved. This is a Christian website and if you wish to vent against Christian beliefs you have probably come to the wrong place and your comments may be removed. Ongoing debates and repetitiveness will not be tolerated. You will also disqualify yourself from commenting if you engage in trolling.

Comments are closed.