D-day for a political symbol

D-day for a political symbol

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The heart and the spirit to the party. Anne-Cécile Mailfert, president of the Women’s Foundation, is delighted with the inclusion, this Monday, of the right to abortion in the Constitution. In Versailles, the deputies and senators, meeting in Congress, must anchor the right to abortion in the fundamental law.

With this sentence: “The law determines the conditions under which the freedom guaranteed to a woman to have recourse to a voluntary termination of pregnancy is exercised”.

First Macronist constitutional revision

This is the first constitutional revision carried out by Emmanuel Macron, after the failure in 2018 of the reform of institutions, and in 2021 of environmental protection. It marks a societal advance, fought hard for fifty years ago, and which today has a consensus.

This reform of the Constitution is an initiative of the left (Mathilde Panot, LFI in the Assembly, and Mélanie Vogel, elected ecologist, in the Senate), supported by the majority (Aurore Bergé, Minister of Equality between men and women). women, then Renaissance deputy).

Congress, a formality?

Parliamentarians wanted strong action in France in reaction to the shock of the questioning of this federal right in the United States in 2022. It was then endorsed by Emmanuel Macron, the President of the Republic, promising, on March 8, 2023, to enshrine this right in the fundamental law.

In Congress, the vote should only be a formality, after the massive result of the votes in the Assembly (493 deputies against 30) and in the Senate (267 votes against 50).

The only doubt came from the attitude of the Senate, anchored to the right. The words of Gérard Larcher – “abortion is not threatened in our country […] I think that the Constitution is not a catalog of social and societal rights” – had created suspense over the adoption of the text by the upper house. Last Wednesday, the positive vote of senators removed the last obstacle.

“Being on the right side of history”

“The votes reflected the broad support and broad consensus around the right to abortion in France. The anti-choice camp has been reduced to nothing: it’s an overwhelming victory,” says Anne-Cécile Mailfert.

“Many senators did not want to be on the wrong side of history. Faced with popular pressure, and those around them, they realized that in France we do not accept politicians voting against women’s freedom,” analyzes the president of the Women’s Foundation. Even the National Rally approved the reform.

A better guarantee of the right to abortion

What will the inclusion of this right in the Constitution change once passed? “It is a better guarantee of the right to abortion. We can rejoice at this progress when we see in all European countries how all anti-abortionists are trying to reduce women’s rights. It is also a very strong, political and democratic symbol that a right which only concerns women can be recognized as a fundamental right for the existence of our democracy,” argues Anne-Cécile Mailfert.

France also sends a “symbol for the world”. By becoming the first country to include abortion at the highest level of the law, it offers a horizon for women who fight for their rights.

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