Killing unborn babies in abortions soon may become a constitutional right in France.
Speaking with EURACTIV this week, French abortion activist Albane Gaillot with Planning Familial expressed confidence that a pro-abortion amendment will pass and France will be the first country to establish a right to abortion in its constitution.
“It is important because it means that the right to abortion is recognized as a fundamental right,” Gaillot said.
Abortions are legal up to 14 weeks of pregnancy in France, and polls show wide-spread support for abortion. However, 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.
In November, the National Assembly passed a bill to amend the constitution with language that “guarantees” a “right to voluntarily end a pregnancy” without restriction. In other words, it would allow unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth.
The Senate is scheduled to consider the bill Feb. 1, according to the report. If the amendment passes, it will be placed on the ballot for voters to decide.
MP Mathilde Panot, head of the leftist LFI party, has been a key advocate of the pro-abortion measure. She told EURACTIV that the amendment will ensure abortions remain legal even if pro-life lawmakers win future elections.
“What is allowed by law can be undone by another law. We need to reaffirm the protection we want to give to abortion,” Panot said.
But Nicolas Bauer, associate researcher at the European Centre for Law and Justice, said the proposed amendment is a radical move by pro-abortion leftists.
“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,’” Bauer told the Catholic News Agency last year. “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.”
French leaders have been pushing to create a right to abortion across Europe, too. Last winter, 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 said 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. Last 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, about 222,000 unborn babies were aborted in 2020.