President Emmanuel Macron on Friday submitted language for an amendment that would make France the first country to enshrine a right to abortion in its constitution.
Macron has declared on social media that by next year “the right of women to choose abortion will become irreversible.”
The push comes in direct response to the restriction of abortion rights in the United States.
Abortion in France has not been similarly under threat. The French public overwhelmingly supports abortion rights. Abortion is legal for any reason through the 14th week of pregnancy and fully covered by the country’s health insurance system.
But after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade last year and allowed states to outlaw abortion, French women clamored to further protect their right.
In many countries, abortion is protected by law, not court decision
“The Dobbs case was very shocking in France,” said Mathilde Philip-Gay, a law professor at Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University. “A movement was born just after the case, and women asked Parliament to act and especially to change the constitution.” She noted that polls in the summer of 2022 showed that about 80 percent of the population supported abortion rights and a similar percentage was in favor of adding a right to abortion to the constitution.