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Business News/ News / World/  ‘MyBodyMyChoice’, France becomes first country to make abortion a constitutional right
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‘MyBodyMyChoice’, France becomes first country to make abortion a constitutional right

France enshrines the right to abortion in its constitution with a historic move heavily criticized by anti-abortion groups, supported by 780 votes against 72 in a joint vote. The law guarantees women the freedom to have recourse to abortion.

French lawmakers make abortion a constitutional right. (AFP)Premium
French lawmakers make abortion a constitutional right. (AFP)

France became the world's first nation that enshrine the right to abortion in its constitution, a historic move heavily criticized by anti-abortion groups. Senators and MPs supported the move by 780 votes against 72 in a special joint vote of the two houses of parliament.

Monday's vote enshrined in Article 34 of the French constitution that "the law determines the conditions in which a woman has the guaranteed freedom to have recourse to an abortion". 

Speaking to media persons, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal ahead of the vote said, “We're sending a message to all women: your body belongs to you and no one can decide for you."

Women have had a legal right to abortion in France since a 1974 law - which many harshly criticized at the time, Reuters reported. 

However, the US Supreme Court's 2022 decision to reverse the Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion prompted activists to push France to become the first country to explicitly protect the right in its basic law.

Abortion rights activists gathered in central Paris cheered and applauded as the Eiffel Tower scintillated in the background and displayed the message "MyBodyMyChoice" as the result of the vote was announced on a giant screen.

Laura Slimani, from the Fondation des Femmes rights group, said, “This right (to abortion) has retreated in the United States. And so nothing authorized us to think that France was exempt from this risk. There's a lot of emotion, as a feminist activist, also as a woman."

"France is at the forefront," said the head of the lower house of parliament, Yael Braun-Pivet, from French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party as quoted by Reuters. 

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Macron was using it to score political points, because of the large support for the right to abortion in the country.

Pascale Moriniere, the president of the Association of Catholic Families, called the move a defeat for anti-abortion campaigners.

"It's (also) a defeat for women," she said, "and, of course, for all the children who cannot see the day."

 

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 06:25 AM IST
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