Enshrine Abortion

France Becomes First Country to Enshrine Abortion as Constitutional Right


In a historic move, the French parliament voted to incorporate the right to abortion into the country’s constitution, making France the first nation in the world to provide explicit protection for ending a pregnancy in its fundamental law.

During a joint session of both houses of parliament held at the Palace of Versailles, the three-fifths supermajority required to enact this change was easily achieved, with 780 lawmakers voting in favor and 72 opposing. The announcement was met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation from deputies present.

French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the decision as a source of national pride that conveys a universal message. A public celebration is scheduled in Paris on International Women’s Day on March 8 to commemorate the occasion.

Following the successful vote, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated in celebration, with messages such as “My Body My Choice” displayed on the iconic structure. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal emphasized the historical significance of the move, stating that it marks a crucial milestone that will be remembered in history.

Despite the progress made in France, Attal cautioned that the right to abortion continues to be endangered globally. He warned that individual freedoms are under threat and subject to the whims of policymakers, citing recent restrictions in countries like the United States, Hungary, and Poland.

The decision to enshrine abortion rights in the constitution comes in response to the US Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling that allowed individual states to restrict or ban the procedure. Amnesty International and the World Health Organization praised France for taking a stand to protect women’s rights and health.

The overwhelming support for the constitutional change is reflected in polls, with a majority of French citizens backing the move. According to a November 2022 survey by IFOP, 86% of the population supported incorporating the right to abortion into the constitution.

While left-wing and centrist politicians have welcomed the decision, some right-wing senators have expressed reservations about the move. Despite protests from a minority of abortion opponents, the passage of the law was celebrated by supporters in Paris.

Abortion was legalized in France in 1975, spearheaded by then-health minister Simone Veil. The move to enshrine abortion rights in the constitution represents a significant milestone in the country’s ongoing commitment to women’s reproductive rights.

By securing the right to abortion in the constitution, France has set a groundbreaking precedent that could inspire other nations to follow suit in ensuring reproductive freedom and gender equality on a global scale.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it