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The National Assembly votes for the inclusion of the right to abortion in the Constitution

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The National Assembly adopted, Thursday, November 24, by a large majority, the proposed constitutional law “aimed at guaranteeing the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy” : 337 votes for, 32 votes against and 18 abstentions.

This text, supported by the majority, was put on the program of the National Assembly by the deputies of La France insoumise (LFI) within the framework of a “parliamentary niche”a day allowing a minority group to set the agenda in the hemicycle.

Left and majority had agreed, at midday, on a common wording to include this right in the Constitution, to its article 66 : “The law guarantees the effectiveness and equal access to the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy”. The initial proposal of the “rebellious” also mentioned the right to contraception, causing some to fear the establishment of an unlimited right to abortion. This change in writing, resulting from cross-partisan work, therefore aimed to remove this reluctance.

The rewrite amendment was overwhelmingly passed, by 226 votes to 12, with 15 abstentions. Forty elected members of the National Rally (RN), out of 55 voters, rallied, while the Republican (LR) deputies were divided. Right and extreme right had argued that they considered these debates useless, the right to abortion not being, according to them, threatened.

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Proposal supported by Dupond-Moretti

With this abortion protection text, it is a question of “prevent a regression” as recently in the United States or elsewhere in Europe, pleaded the leader of the “rebellious” deputies, Mathilde Panot. In front of a hemicycle provided on the left, she quoted Simone de Beauvoir: “All it takes is a political, economic or religious crisis for women’s rights to be called into question”.

After the vote, the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti, welcomed “a historic vote, a great honor, a great emotion”. He had given his support to this text, “much needed in these turbulent times”. And lamented a “little game of filibuster” with “dozens of amendments” filed by opponents of the bill.

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The National Assembly had adopted, last February, the extension of the legal deadline for resorting to an abortion, from twelve to fourteen weeks of pregnancy. The text, at the initiative of opposition MP Albane Gaillot (ex-LRM) but supported by the majority, aimed to respond to a lack of practitioners and the gradual closure of centers practicing abortion. The text had aroused strong opposition from part of the right.

Eight months after its adoption, there are places in France where women are still not taken care of beyond twelve weeks of pregnancy, and are redirected to centers that apply the law”denounced in an article in the World the doctor Laura Marin Marin, spokesperson for the National Association of Abortion and Contraception Centers (Ancic), which brings together health professionals who perform abortions.

Read also: Right to abortion: in which countries is it prohibited, restricted or threatened?

The World with AFP