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The French government supports the anchoring of abortion in the constitution

#French #government #supports #anchoring #abortion #constitution

Politicians representing a parliamentary majority on Saturday expressed their support for a bill that would enshrine abortion rights in France’s constitution, after the US Supreme Court overturned nationwide legal protections for American women to have abortions.

The landmark ruling by the majority-conservative court on Friday overturned nearly five decades of constitutional protections for abortion in the United States and allowed individual states to regulate the process.

The American religious right had the previous “Roe v. Wade’s 1973 ruling guaranteeing abortion rights in the US was never accepted, and several conservative states immediately announced that they would ban abortion.

France was one of several US allies to condemn the decision, with President Emmanuel Macron denouncing a threat to women’s freedom.

The leader of Macron’s party in parliament said on Saturday she had tabled a bill to “enshrine respect for abortion in our constitution” amid the rise of the far-right National Assembly, a party which she described as “fierce opponents” of abortion .

“Women’s rights are always fragile rights that are regularly threatened,” Aurore Berge told radio station France Inter.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the government would support the bill “wholeheartedly”, echoing support from other ministers.

“For all women, for human rights, we must have this win set in stone. Parliament must be able to agree on this text with an overwhelming majority,” she wrote on Twitter.

In a statement, leading politicians from left-wing parties welcomed the government’s “about-turn” and called on like-minded factions to submit a joint text.

The left-wing NUPES alliance and Macron’s Ensemble coalition would together have a large majority for such a constitutional change.

Macron is looking for parliamentary allies to enact reforms after his formation lost a majority in general elections earlier this month.

The National Rally has long been opposed to abortion, but current leader Marine Le Pen has since posed as a defender of women’s rights and support of the status quo.

Berge’s bill provides that “no one shall be deprived of the right to voluntarily terminate a pregnancy.”

The legal period for abortion was extended in France from 12 to 14 weeks in the last parliamentary term.

In 2018 and 2019, opposition lawmakers unsuccessfully tried to amend the constitution to include abortion rights.

A constitutional change requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of the Parliament, which sits in Congress. The other option is a referendum.

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