France: right to abortion enters the Constitution

France: right to abortion enters the Constitution

With a large majority, the French Parliament voted in favor of including the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) in the Constitution. The bill, presented by the radical left of Les Insoumis, was approved by 337 votes in favor and only 32 against. The text integrated some of the 300 amendments presented by the traditional right and far right with the hope of obtaining the next consensus also from the Senate, which is essential for the definitive go-ahead for the constitutional reform, without resorting to a popular referendum.

“It’s a historic vote. The National Assembly speaks to the world, France speaks to the world» reacted Mathilde Panot, leader of the Insoumis deputies, dedicating it to women in the United States, Poland and Hungary. Before the vote, Panot argued that it is a text to protect abortion and “to guard against a regression” as happened recently in the United States and in some European countries.

Even the Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti has openly supported the proposed constitutional revision “more than necessary in these turbulent times”. Applause from the left-wing deputies and the presidential majority at the end of the vote, defining the legislative provision as a “big step forward” as it “guarantees the effectiveness and fair access to the right to voluntary abortion”.

After the vote, the deputies moved on to examine a second bill, also presented by Les Insousmis, in favor of the abolition of bullfighting everywhere in France. Compared to the one on abortion, shared by almost the entire French political class, the text presented by Aymeric Caron has been dividing all forces for several weeks, so it has little chance of being approved by the hemicycle of the National Assembly.

From the left-wing coalition Nupes to President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance passing through Marine Le Pen’s national grouping, each formation has its exponents for and those against, its undecided and even those who do not want to take sides. The majority of parliamentary groups also decided to grant full freedom to vote on this issue.

In all, 567 amendments were tabled to his bill, including a significant number by deputies from Les Republicains and Rn. If the text is examined and debated, it is not certain that the vote will be reached as a matter of time, in the context known as the parliamentary niche, which allows opposition groups to set the agenda for an entire day in Parliament. In fact, the proposed law on the abolition of bullfighting is in fourth position among the bills being examined by parliamentarians during the LFI niche. According to an Ifop poll, published last weekend in the Journal du Dimanche, 74% of French people would even agree with Caron declaring themselves in favor of banning bullfighting.

Reluctantly, Jean-Luc Melenchon’s Insoumis had to renounce two other bills initially on the agenda: one which called for a commission of inquiry into the “Uber Files” and the other on the increase in the minimum wage 1600 euros net.

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