May 20. 2024. 11:46

The Daily

Read the World Today

Macron wants Constitution to include right to abortion


French President Emmanuel Macron is in favour of enshrining the woman’s right to abortion into the Constitution, and he plans to introduce a bill before parliament in the next months.

The announcement was made on Wednesday, International Women’s Day, as Macron paid tribute to the late lawyer and feminist Gisèle Halimi, known for her campaign that brought about France’s first abortion laws in the 1970s.

“Today, I want the strength of her fight to help us change our Constitution to enshrine women’s freedom to abortion”, he said.

The bill is to be introduced “in the next months”, said Macron, noting that it will closely reflect a legislative proposal made by the Senate in February.

“This announcement is a victory for feminists”, with an overwhelming 80% of French people backing the bill, the Women’s Foundation, an NGO, said in a press release.

“Without access to free and safe abortion, there is no equality between men and women,” the NGO’s statement also reads.

If Macron’s proposal goes through all the legislative hoops, France would be the first country in the world to enshrine the right to abortion into the Constitution – a move that would also protect such a right from future governments.

Macron’s announcement also comes when abortion rights are being infringed elsewhere.

Besides the US Supreme Court allowing federal states to legislate on abortion rights last summer, in the EU, all member states but Malta allow abortion, though sometimes with great hurdles and obstacles.

While Malta criminalises abortion without any exceptions, women wanting to abort in Hungary are forced to listen to the foetus’ heartbeat, while abortion access in Poland is only allowed in cases where women risk death or when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

For Macron’s proposed abortion to become law, a two-thirds majority is required in both the National Assembly and the Senate, or, if this is not achieved, Macron can call for a referendum on the matter to be held.

(Clara Bauer | EURACTIV.fr)