France is the first country in the world to protect the right to abortion in its Constitution

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This Monday France became the first country to register the “guaranteed freedom” to have an abortion in its Constitutiona historic decision against the grain that wants to open “an era of hope” in the world after several failures, according to its promoters.

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From 780 votes in favor and 72 againstLawmakers adopted this constitutional reform without surprise during an extraordinary congress of both chambers at the Palace of Versailles, west of Paris.

The final ceremony for the inscription of abortion into the Constitution will take place on March 8, International Women’s Day, the president announced Emmanuel Macronwhich celebrated “a French pride, a universal message”.

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“I say to all women, inside and outside our borders, that the era of a world of hope begins”, said Attal, center-right, after underlining that this practice “remains in danger” in the world, “at the mercy of those who decide.”

Nearly half a century after its decriminalization in France, there is broad social support, but the US Supreme Court’s decision in 2022 to stop recognizing it as a right at the federal level has raised alarm bells.

Months after this American setback, the left-wing opposition and the ruling party in France began a long legislative process, culminating this Monday with a large majority.

The American Donald Trump, the Argentine Javier MileiBrazilian Jair Bolsonaro and Hungarian Viktor Orban are some of the leaders or former leaders who the left opposition provided as an example of that threat.

Dressed in green and with a scarf of the same color on her forearm, “in homage to Argentine women”, the left-wing MP Mathilde Panot dedicated this “victory” to all the women in the world who “struggle to decide about their own bodies”.

Before France, Chile had already sought to introduce women’s right to “voluntary termination of pregnancy” in its draft new Constitution of 2022, which The Chileans rejected in the referendum.

“Chileans helped us make it happen here” by starting that constitutional discussion, said Chilean-born left-wing lawmaker Raquel Garrido, who said France’s decision “will have repercussions around the world.”

On the contrary, some countries implicitly prohibit it in their fundamental law by protecting the right to life from conception, as in the case of the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Madagascar, Honduras and El Salvador.

The various speakers paid tribute to the French women who worked for women’s rights, from the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, author of “The Second Sex”, to the lawyer Gisèle Halimi, who managed to get a 16-year-old girl acquitted in October 1972. who miscarried after a rape.

And beneath the gold of Versailles, lawmakers rose from their red velvet benches to applaud the late Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor and architect of the decriminalization of abortion in France in 1975 as Health Minister.

In 2022, the deadlines were extended to 14 weeks in France, where the number of voluntary terminations of pregnancy has remained stable for two decades at around 230,000 per year. However, access to this practice is very difficult in rural areas.

Although according to polls around 80% of French people support the protection of abortion in the Constitution and there is a broad political consensus from the far right to the radical left, the bishops have called this Monday “of fasting and prayer”.

“In the era of universal human rights, there cannot be a ‘right’ to take human life,” the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican body responsible for bioethical issues, said in a statement.

Source: Clarin

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