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France: “Freedom from abortion” in the Constitution

France is the first country in the world to include “freedom from abortion” in its constitution. Deputies from both chambers of Parliament voted today, at the Palace of Versailles, with 780 votes to 72, for the corresponding constitutional amendment. The announcement of the result was met with prolonged applause.

Applause erupted in the square in front of the Eiffel Tower. Many people watched the debate and voted on a large screen.

Prime Minister: “Conclusion of a long battle”

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal spoke of a “moral guilt” towards all the women who suffered. “We are haunted by the suffering and memory of so many women who suffered for decades because they could not be free,” he said.

Attal said he was happy with the “successful conclusion of a long battle.” “The pride of France. Universal message”, wrote French President Emmanuel Macron on X.

During the vote, however, several hundred abortion opponents also gathered near Congress in Versailles to protest the constitutional change. The Catholic Church has also made clear that it continues to reject abortion.

Health insurance covers costs

Abortions up to the tenth week of pregnancy have been unpunished in France since 1975. Pregnant women in France can now have an abortion up to the 14th week and their health insurance covers the costs.

In her first reaction, the SPÖ European deputy, Evelyn Regner, spoke of a “historic step”. “While women's rights and fundamental rights are under pressure around the world, French members of the Senate and National Assembly today take a deliberate stance against this,” said the vice-president of the EU Parliament, who is also a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee.