The National Assembly approved by a large majority on January 30 to include the “guaranteed freedom” of abortion in the French Constitution. The amendment will now go to the Senate for consideration.
We read in the text: “The law must determine the methods for exercising this freedom guaranteed to women.” The approval comes at a time when abortion rights are being questioned in the United States and some European countries.
“It is revenge for hundreds of thousands of women who have had to face great suffering,” said Mathilde Panot, of the left-wing France Haunts party.
“The National Assembly and the government did not miss this rendezvous with history,” commented Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti, while Prime Minister Gabriel Attal hailed on social media the “great victory for women’s rights.”
The amendment was approved by 493 votes to 30. All left-wing MPs and almost all members of the majority and the Lyot parliamentary group voted in favor of the decision.
On the right, the deputies of the Republican Party (forty supporters and fifteen opponents), as well as those of the National Rally (forty-six supporters and twelve opponents) were divided.
The government chose the phrase “guaranteed freedom” as a compromise between a previous text approved by the National Assembly that included the word “right,” and another text approved by the Senate that limited itself to talking about “freedom.”
After the National Assembly and the Senate approve the text itself, it will be sent to the conference bringing together all parliamentarians, which will then have to approve it one final time with a qualified majority of 60 percent.
The Senate will begin considering the amendment on February 28. Consent is not a given because many senators consider the phrase “liberty guaranteed” to be too similar to “right.”
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