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France Becomes World's First Country to Make Abortion a Constitutional Right

France Becomes World's First Country to Make Abortion a Constitutional Right

On Monday, France became the first country in the world to enshrine abortion in its national constitution after an amendment was passed in an overwhelming vote.

According to The Christian Post, French Parliament in Versailles overwhelmingly voted 780-72 in favor of the bill to amend Article 34 of the French constitution.

After the vote was passed, the room in the French Parliament erupted in a standing ovation, and a crowd gathered in Paris’ Trocadéro Square cheered when watching a large screen of the vote being passed.

The Eiffel Tower displayed the words, “My body, my choice” on Monday evening following the decision.

According to a YouGov poll last month, 66 percent of respondents supported the amendment, including 76 percent of people aged 18-34.

Although France first legalized abortion in 1975, the recent amendment makes abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy a “guaranteed freedom” for French women, and future French governments will be banned for making drastic modifications. Meanwhile, abortions are permitted after 14 weeks if the mother’s health is at risk or if the baby displays genetic abnormalities.

French President Emmanuel Macron has supported the measure to amend the French constitution, which was adopted in 1958 and has been amended about 20 times since.

 "I am committed to making women's freedom to have an abortion irreversible by enshrining it in the Constitution,” Macron tweeted last week.

"After the National Assembly, the Senate is taking a decisive step which I welcome. For the final vote, I will convene Parliament in Congress on March 4," he wrote.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, 34, also backed the measure.

"We are sending the message to all women: Your body belongs to you and no one has the right to control it in your stead," he said during a speech ahead of the final tally, The New York Times reported.

Despite French legislators and French citizens praising the amendment, it was denounced by the Vatican and the French Conference of Bishops (CEF).

“Abortion, which remains an attack on life in its beginning, cannot be seen from the sole angle of the right of women,” the CEF said in a statement last week.

The bishops lamented that the government did not focus more on promoting women and children’s rights.

Similarly, the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) stated, "In the era of universal human rights, there cannot be a 'right' to taking a human life.”

All governments and religious traditions must "do their best so that at this stage in history, the protection of life becomes an absolute priority, with concrete steps in favor of peace and social justice and with effective measures for a universal access to resources, education and healthcare,” the PAV added.

Image credit: ©Getty Images / Gary M. PriorStaff

Milton QuintanillaMilton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.