Accessibility links

Breaking News

France Enshrines Abortion Rights on International Women's Day Ceremony


French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a ceremony to seal the right to abortion in the French constitution, on International Women's Day, at the Place Vendome, in Paris, France, March 8, 2024.
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a ceremony to seal the right to abortion in the French constitution, on International Women's Day, at the Place Vendome, in Paris, France, March 8, 2024.

An amendment enshrining abortion rights was officially sealed into the French constitution Friday, during a public ceremony on International Women's Day. France is the first nation to guarantee the right to an abortion in its national charter.

During the ceremony, which allowed the amendment to officially take effect, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the crowd, saying that "France today becomes the only country worldwide whose constitution explicitly protects the right to abortion in all circumstances."

According to Macron, this decision was spurred by the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision to rescind long-held abortion protections. Last year, Macron pledged to protect the right to abortions in France following the U.S. decision.

During the ceremony, he called for the European Union to enshrine the same right in its charter. Although abortion in most of Europe is legal, some European Union countries, like Poland and Malta, with laws restricting abortions, would likely oppose a similar measure.

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti used a 19th century press Friday to seal the amendment, which was approved with overwhelming support earlier this week. The amendment passed in a joint session of parliament Monday.

The move to protect abortion rights in the French constitution was met with overwhelming support among lawmakers and the public. The action was also praised by women's rights advocates, particularly as abortion rights have come under fire in the world in recent years.

The action has also been met with criticism by some who view it as ceremonial, because abortion rights have been legal in France since 1975 and haven't been under direct threat.

Others also point out that not all French women have abortion access and that women face a variety of other barriers to equality, such as wage gaps and a high rate of domestic violence, often turning fatal.

Conferences are being held throughout the world on abortion rights, as well as marches and demonstrations, according to The Associated Press.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.

‚Äč
XS
SM
MD
LG