French National Assembly Approves Constitutional Guarantee for Abortion

    French National Assembly Approves Constitutional Guarantee for Abortion
    Photo: Franck Prevel/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • France's National Assembly approved a government bill to enshrine a "guaranteed freedom" for women to access "voluntary termination of pregnancy" in the country's constitution after an hours-long debate on Wednesday night, with a solemn vote scheduled for Jan. 30 still due before the issue advances to the Senate.

    • The constitutional amendment to Article 34 received broad support from the ruling coalition, left-wing lawmakers, and the centrist LIOT coalition, passing with 99 votes to 13, as four right-wing legislators — two from Les Républicans (LR) and two from the National Rally — also voted in favor of the bill.


    The Spin

    Left narrative

    If there was still any doubt that abortion must be enshrined in the French Constitution, the so-called personal opinion of Larcher stressed the need to constitutionalize the issue. Though the nation overwhelmingly supports the right to have access to abortion, this is far from being a guarantee, as some right-wing high-ranking officials in France insist on denying women their freedom.

    Right narrative

    On top of the outrageous nature of turning an act that used to be a crime into a constitutional right, this move would also have catastrophic legal consequences when in conflict with other rights. The left isn't attempting to interpret the constitution as including a right to abortion but is trying to reform it — a strong-arm tactic used only by one country: Yugoslavia under the socialist and criminal regime of Tito. Is this the example that France wants to follow?

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 11% chance that Emmanuel Macron will dissolve the French National Assembly before the end of his term, according to the Metaculus prediction community.



    Political split

    LEFT

    RIGHT

    Sign up to our daily newsletter