France Casts First Vote to Make Killing Babies in Abortions a Constitutional Right

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 25, 2022   |   3:01PM   |   Paris, France

The French National Assembly approved a radical pro-abortion bill Thursday that would create an unlimited “right” to abort an unborn baby in its national constitution.

RFI reports the lower house voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill in a 337-32 vote. The National Assembly has 557 members, so it appears many lawmakers either did not vote or abstained.

The legislation now heads to the Senate where its fate is uncertain. The conservative Republican party has a majority in the Senate, and senators rejected a similar bill in October.

Abortions are legal up to 14 weeks of pregnancy in France, and polls show wide-spread support for abortion. But pro-abortion political leaders, including President Emmanuel Macron, have said France needs a constitutional amendment to ensure that abortions remain legal for years to come, pointing to the overturning of Roe v. Wade in America.

However, voters may not understand just how extreme the constitutional amendment would be. If it passes both houses and then a voter referendum, abortions for any reason up to birth could become legal in France. The amendment “guarantees” a “right to voluntarily end a pregnancy” without limits, according to RFI.

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“By inserting it into the constitution, the left wants to make abortion sacred as if it were a value at the heart of the national ‘social contract,’” Nicolas Bauer, associate researcher at the European Centre for Law and Justice, told the Catholic News Agency. “From being a crime, abortion has become a banal medical act, and the left now is seeking to make it a fundamental right, superior to every other right.”

That is not how abortion activists are portraying the bill. Mathilde Panot, head of the leftist LFI party, said the amendment will protect France “against a regression,” referencing the overturning of Roe in the U.S. and a pro-life ruling by Poland’s highest court in 2020, according to Khabar Hub.

“The assembly is speaking to the world. Our country is speaking to the world,” Panot said after the vote. “… Our intent is clear: We do not want to leave any chance to people opposed to the right to abortion.”

The vote Thursday took place after the ruling Renaissance Party and leftist LFI party reached an agreement on the language of the amendment. Both parties proposed separate bills this fall, but Renaissance lawmakers withdrew their bill, which mentioned the word “woman”; the LFI bill does not, according to CNA.

French leaders have been pushing to create a right to abortion all year. In January, President Macron told the European Parliament that France will lobby to add abortion to the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. He claimed that protecting the so-called right to abort an unborn baby is a “strong value” that Europe should fight to uphold.

“We must update this charter to be more explicit on protection of the environment, [and] the recognition of the right to abortion,” Macron told European leaders at the time. “Let us open up this debate freely with our fellow citizens … to breathe new life into the pillar of law that forges this Europe of strong values.”

Abortion has been legal in France since 1975. Earlier this year, parliament voted to expand abortions, making it legal to kill unborn babies for any reason up to 14 weeks instead of 12 weeks.

According to the French Ministry of Health, there were 222,000 abortions in 2020.