Macron Promises to Enshrine Abortion Rights in the French Constitution
French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday that by the end of the year, his administration will prepare and finalize a draft law to enshrine the right to abortion in the French constitution.
This news comes from The Guardian.
President of France stated that based on the work of parliament members and associations, a project to amend the constitution regarding abortion rights will be submitted to the State Council (the equivalent of a constitutional court) within a week, and it will be presented to the government by the year's end.
"By the end of 2024, women's freedom to have an abortion will become irreversible," Macron emphasized.
The project involves amendments to Article 34 of the French constitution, which stipulates that "the law determines the conditions under which women are guaranteed the freedom to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy."
Reviewing the French constitution is a complex process that requires either a referendum or approval by at least three-fifths of both houses of parliament.
To avoid a referendum, the government has submitted its own bill rather than the one proposed by lawmakers. Therefore, Macron can convene an extraordinary congress of both houses. Such congresses take place at the Palace of Versailles.
However, last year, both houses of the French parliament could not reach an agreement on the wording: the National Assembly proposed to guarantee the "right to voluntary pregnancy termination," while the Senate favoured a woman's "freedom" to do so.
Abortion was legalized in France in 1975, and since then, several laws have been passed to improve conditions for abortions, including the protection of women's health and anonymity, as well as alleviating the financial burden of the procedure. Now, against the backdrop of the US Supreme Court's decision last year, which rolled back federal guarantees for abortion, Emmanuel Macron pledged to enshrine the corresponding right in the French constitution.
A public opinion survey last year indicated that 89% of respondents want abortion rights to have stronger protection in the country's fundamental law.
According to the government's data, 234,000 abortions were performed in France last year.
Anticipating the process's conclusion, the Minister for Gender Equality, Berangere Couillard, tweeted, "This is a victory for all women and a powerful message sent to other countries in the world where women's rights are losing ground."
As reported by The Gaze, over the summer, protests took place in over 40 cities in Poland as part of the All-Polish Women's Strike in response to the death of a 33-year-old pregnant woman who died because a doctor refused to terminate her pregnancy.