France Adds Abortion Access To Its Constitution

March 5, 2024

We are sending the message to all women: Your body belongs to you and no one has the right to control it in your stead.

France’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal shortly before lawmakers voted 780-72 for an amendment giving women “guaranteed freedom” to end their pregnancies under Parliament’s laws (which currently allows elected abortion up to 14 weeks into a pregnancy).

Why It Matters: Monday’s vote in France marks the first time a country has incorporated abortion rights in its constitution. Because lawmakers declared abortion a “guaranteed freedom,” it gives limited ability for future governments to “drastically modify” laws surrounding women’s decision to end their pregnancy, French justice minister Éric Dupond-Moretti explains. The United States Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 motivated this legislation in France, as did broader sentiments supporting abortion rights in France.

Also Worth Noting: In the U.S., the first over-the-counter birth control pill will be in stores and available online later this month.

Read More: France becomes the only country to explicitly guarantee abortion as a constitutional right (The Associated Press)

French Lawmakers Enshrine Access to Abortion in Constitution (The New York Times)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas