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France’s Senate Votes 267-50 To Add Abortion ‘Freedom’ To The Constitution

France’s Senate Votes 267-50 To Add Abortion ‘Freedom’ To The Constitution

France’s Senate approved a government move on Wednesday. The proposal, aiming to enshrine the freedom for women to have an abortion in the law, was earlier approved by the lower house, the National Assembly. 

The proposal was supported by 267 votes to 50 in the upper house of parliament and will now be voted on at a special congress. This special and repeat vote, called by French President Emmanuel Macron, will involve a meeting of the lower house and the upper house. 

The country made abortion legal in 1974, and France’s Abortion Amendment was under discussion to make changes to the constitution. 

If at least three-fifths of the members in the special joint session approve of the amendment, there will be no requirement for a public vote. In November 2022, a poll suggested that 86% of the people in France supported this move. The political parties in the county have not expressed any disagreement with the right to abortion.

Responding to France’s Abortion Amendment, Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Morett said that France was about to make history by becoming “the first country in the world to protect in its constitution the freedom of women.” Many conservative senators said they approved it unwillingly. A female senator said, “If I vote against it, my daughters will no longer come for Christmas.”

Many states in the US have banned abortion and imposed punishments on doctors and other medical professionals, including imprisonment and even the cancellation of their medical licenses. Moreover, Poland’s Constitutional Court also banned abortions and only allowed them in special cases, such as rape or incest, or when it is life-threatening for the mother.

What is France’s Abortion Amendment?

In January 2024, the National Assembly voted to enshrine the “freedom” of abortion after the Macron government called for an amendment and cited “the freedom of women to have recourse to an abortion, which is guaranteed.” This change in words, specifically “guaranteed freedom,” is now approved by the Senate.

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Shubhangi Srivastava

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