Abortion elevated to human right in French constitution

Parliamentarians in France have voted to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right.

Amending the 1958 Constitution, lawmakers voted by 780 to 72 in favour of guaranteeing “the freedom of women to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy”.

Activists have been pushing for pro-abortion protections to be included in France’s constitution since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in 2022.

‘Violation of life’

Following the decision on Monday, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated with the pro-abortion slogan “mon corps mon choix” – my body my choice.

Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard hailed the vote as “of huge significance” for “this essential right”.

But Roman Catholic Bishops called for a day of “fasting and prayer so the French could rediscover the taste for life”. They said: “Abortion remains a violation of life at its beginning and cannot be seen under the sole angle of women’s rights”.

In a statement last week, the Council of Evangelical Christians in France expressed fear that such a change would weaken “the right of healthcare workers to conscientious objection” and erode “freedom of expression”.

Leading cause of death

Abortion was legalised in France in 1975. It is permitted on demand in the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy, and up to birth for some reasons.

Figures compiled by Worldometer indicate that abortion claimed more than 44 million lives worldwide in 2023 and is the leading cause of death for the fifth year in a row.

The statistics website estimated that all other causes of death totalled over 60 million last year – meaning abortion accounted for more than 40 per cent of all deaths.

Also see:

Hand of baby and adult

Christian MPs decry ‘extreme’ attempt to liberalise abortion law

‘Women betrayed’ as Republic of Ireland aborts almost 10,000 babies

BBC reports investigations into illegal abortions on the rise

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