PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron promised on Sunday to enshrine a woman’s right to an abortion in the French Constitution by next year.
The president announced on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, that a bill allowing this action will be presented to his Cabinet before the end of the year. This will ensure that by 2024, women’s right to access abortion will be secured permanently.
In 1975, a law was passed in France to decriminalize abortion. However, there is no provision in the constitution that specifically protects the right to have an abortion.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 50-year-old ruling and removed women’s constitutional protections for abortion, leading France to take steps towards fully guaranteeing abortion rights.
During a ceremony in March, Macron paid tribute to feminist Gisele Halimi and expressed his desire to amend the constitution in order to protect the right of women to have an abortion and guarantee that it cannot be revoked or challenged.
Rephrasing: The process of revising the constitution is time-consuming, but the government has found a way to bypass a referendum by introducing its own bill instead of relying on one proposed by lawmakers. This allows Macron to call for a “congress” of both houses to approve the amendment with a three-fifths majority, which seems achievable. These congresses take place at the Palace of Versailles.
The bill aimed at resolving all conflicts has been under development for several months. The president has announced that it will be submitted to the Council of State, the top administrative authority in France, in the upcoming week as a required procedure. It will then be presented to the Cabinet before the end of the year.
The French president’s office announced that they plan to revise Article 34 of the constitution to specify that women’s freedom to seek an abortion will be protected and regulated by law.
Anticipating the end of the process, the minister for equality for women and men, Berengere Couillard, said on X that “this is a victory for all women and a strong symbol sent to other countries of the world where our rights are losing ground.”