Abortion: French lawmakers want constitutional rights


A group of legislators from French President Emmanuel Macron’s party will propose a bill to include the right to abortion in the country’s constitution, two members of parliament said on Saturday.

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned a 50-year-old ruling and stripped women of constitutional protections against abortion.

The right to abortion in France was enshrined in a 1975 law relating to the voluntary termination of pregnancy within the framework of the legal framework that regulates abortion.

Marie-Pierre Rixain, a member of parliament and a Republican on Macron’s move, said a constitutional law would strengthen abortion rights for future generations.

“What happened elsewhere must not happen in France,” Rixain said.

The bill would include a provision that makes it “impossible to deprive a person of the right to voluntarily abort an abortion,” said two members of the National Assembly, France’s most powerful institute.

Aurore Berge, leader of Macron’s party group in parliament, said the US Supreme Court’s decision to revoke abortion rights was “catastrophic for women around the world.”

Berge said in an interview with public radio France Inter on Saturday: “We have to take steps in France today so that we don’t have any reversals to the laws in force on the roof.

Macron’s party and his centrist coalition have the most seats in Parliament, although it lost its majority in Sunday’s legislative elections as voters chose far-right and far-left parties.

Lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum are expected to challenge Macron’s domestic agenda, such as his controversial pension reform.

In a deeply polarized political environment, Berge argues that French lawmakers should not risk basic rights even if they are enshrined in law.

“Women’s rights are still very fragile rights and are often questioned,” Berge said. “We don’t change the constitution like we change the law,” she added.

Macron expressed solidarity with women in the United States following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a nearly half-century landmark ruling that is likely to lead to abortion bans in about half of the states.

Macron said women’s freedoms are being undermined by the decision. “Abortion is a fundamental right of all women. It must be protected,” the French president wrote in a Twitter post late on Friday.

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