“No one may infringe on the right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy and contraception,” stated the text tabled by the LFI group, which goes further than that of the deputies of the presidential majority by including transexual people — while Renaissance’s text referred exclusively to women — and also included contraception. The two texts will be examined in Parliament on November 24 and 28.
The will to enshrine the right to abortion is far from unanimous in the French political landscape, and the Senate rejected a bill similar to that of LFI in October. For the former secretary general of the Constitutional Council, Jean-Eric Schoettl, these bills have above all a symbolic purpose that comes under the heading of agitprop — in other words, political propaganda.
In an opinion column published by Le Figaro, Schoettl argued that “to touch the constitution on a societal issue is to open Pandora’s box; why not also include euthanasia, the right to change sex, and so on? It would be an opportunity for all kinds of one-upmanship and improvisation.”
Since 1975, abortion in France has been regulated by the so-called Veil Act. Already extended from 10 to 12 weeks in 2001, the legal time limit for abortion was increased to 14 weeks in March 2022. Opponents to its constitutionalization also fear that this will lead to the abolition of all legal time limits, and that this right, after becoming constitutional, will be used to provide abortions until the ninth month.
“By inserting it into the Constitution, the left wants to make abortion sacred, as if it were a value at the heart of the national ‘social contract’,” Nicolas Bauer, associate researcher at the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), told CNA.
“From being a crime, abortion has become a banal medical act, and the left now is seeking to make it a fundamental right, superior to every other right.”