The French national Assembly, meeting in Paris, has reaffirmed its full support for legalized abortion. Members voted almost unanimously for a resolution that reaffirmed the so-called right of abortion by a 143-7 vote, with one abstention.
The resolution confirms “the importance of the universal right of women to freely dispose of their body, in France, in Europe and around the world as an indispensable condition for the construction of gender equality and the advancement of society.”
Forty years ago this week, then Health Minister Ms Veil made a speech in parliament in which she said that it was her “conviction as a woman” that abortions must be legalized. A pro-abortion law – known as la Loi Veil – was passed the following year. French law allows abortions through 14 weeks from the first day of a woman’s last period. In the UK the time is 24 weeks.
Seven MPs voting in opposition included the mayor of Orange, Jacques Bompard, who asked for “pardon for the children who will not be born,” because of abortion and called abortion an “attack on common sense”. Former minister and founder of the Parti Chrétien-Démocrate, Christine Boutin, tweeted the seven MPs were “courageous.” She said the Veil Law was like a “stab in the heart.”
The vote doesn’t appear to represent the will of the people of France — as 40,000 pro-life advocates lined the streets of Paris in January to voice their opposition to abortion.
Still, French officials have pushed abortion at every turn — including promoting abortion at the UN.
France claimed abortion is a right under international humanitarian law at the U.N. Security Council earlier this year. Here’s more on that:
Abortion groups claim the Geneva Convention includes a right to abortion for victims of rape in situations of conflict. France, Israel, Lithuania and Estonia lent their support to these groups at the debate on Friday.
The “refusal of abortion is a violation of international humanitarian law,” said Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the United Nations. He explained that this was an “especially dear” issue for France. A diplomat speaking for Israel lamented women giving birth to children conceived in rape. Few countries are on board though.
Prior to 2013, mentioning abortion in the Council chamber was unheard of. Countries instead focus on ending impunity and other preventive measures, as well as ending discrimination against victims of rape and their children.
A diplomat involved in the Security Council debate told the Friday Fax that abortion supporters raise the issue “where it just does not belong.” The Geneva Convention and its protocols have never been understood to include such a right. And there is no support within the United Nations framework to claim a right to abortion under any circumstance.
No U.N. treaty mentions abortion or can be fairly read as including abortion rights. The consensus among U.N. member states is that abortion is a domestic matter that should be left up to national legislation. The U.N. Charter forbids the United Nations to compel action by states except when the Security Council imposes sanctions or intervenes in conflict situations.