Droit à l’IVG : après sa mise en danger aux USA, comment le protéger en France ?

Droit à l’IVG : après sa mise en danger aux USA, comment le protéger en France ?

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Following the decision of the American Supreme Court to annul the judgment guaranteeing the right to abortion, voices are raised in France to ask for the inclusion of this right in the Constitution. According to an Ifop study, 81% of French people would be in favor of it.

Dhangers brandished, bloody hands, slogans all more striking than the other: “Abortion, we fought to win it, we will fight to keep it.“A few thousand demonstrators marched on Saturday July 2 in several cities in France to defend the right to abortion and support American women. Friday June 24, 2022, the conservative-right-dominated U.S. Supreme Court has ended the iconic Roe vs. Wade case that since 1973 had guaranteed American women’s right to abortion. The repeal of this law does not mean the automatic prohibition of the right to abortion, but each State is now free to authorize or prohibit it. States such as Missouri or Alabama have already prohibited or very severely restricted access to abortion. In France, the right to abortion is guaranteed by the law of January 17, 1975, also known as the “Veil law”. Today, this right is enshrined in the Public Health Code, with its article L2212-1 which stipulates that “a pregnant woman who does not want to continue a pregnancy can ask a doctor or a midwife to interrupt her pregnancy. This termination may only be performed before the end of the fourteenth week of pregnancy.”

Don’t touch my abortion

However, these provisions could be modified if a majority of deputies agreed to prohibit this right and had a new law voted in the National Assembly. Thereby, feminist associations and political figures demand that the right to abortion be enshrined in the Constitution in order to make its possible withdrawal much more difficult. As explained by the Instagram page faitminisme, which campaigns for the inclusion of the right to abortion in the Constitution, this right “is currently only guaranteed by a simple law, which could easily be called into question. To protect the right to abortion, a solution exists: enshrine it in the French Constitution. Indeed, the Constitution is the supreme norm in France: standing above the law, it enshrines and guarantees fundamental rights.”

According to a study carried out by the IFOP in partnership with the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, published on Tuesday July 5, “81% of French people are in favor of including access to abortion in the French Constitution“. Whatever their political affiliation, respondents overwhelmingly support this proposal: whether it is supporters of the left (94% of EELV supporters, 91% of socialist supporters, 83% of LFI supporters) and of the center (84%) , but also those located more to the right of the political spectrum (76% of LR sympathizers, 73% of RN sympathizers).

Various political reactions

The leader of the deputies of the Renaissance presidential majority, Aurore Bergé, announced on Saturday June 25 that her group was going to file “a proposed constitutional law to protect access to abortion“. A proposal already made a few years ago by La France Insoumise (LFI) but which had been rejected by the government in 2018 and 2019. Mathilde Panot, president of the LFI group, proposes “the tabling of a text common to all the groups of the National Assembly who wish to protect this fundamental right“.

Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne defended “the importance of including this right as a fundamental right”, assuring that the government “will strongly support” the bill to include it in the Constitution. The Minister Isabelle Rome in charge of Equality between women and men is also in favor of this proposal.

Within the presidential majority and the deputies of the Nupes, voices were quickly raised to denounce the decision of the American Supreme Court. However, the members of the Rassemblement national (RN) were slower to react, showing their ambiguity on this subject, as explained in an article by the World. For Jordan Bardella, acting president of the RN, “no serious political movement […] does not question the Veil law, and fortunately! […] I would like it to be written into the Constitution. If this text were presented, I would vote for it. But, what’s the point?“, he adds.

The National Rally, which succeeded in bringing 89 deputies into the Assembly during the last legislative elections, nevertheless includes members with an anti-abortion position. Like Caroline Parmentier, new MP for Pas-de-Calais who campaigned against abortion in her posts for the national Catholic daily Present. Or Hervé de Lépinau, RN deputy for Vaucluse, a Catholic activist supporting the March for Life, the so-called “pro-life” organization which fights against abortion.

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Asked about BFM TVthe president of the MoDem François Bayrou also questions the possible constitutionalization of the right to abortion: “In the state where the country finds itself, with all the questions that we have before us, is it good, useful, to do this even though no political current in France is challenging the Veil law and what has become of her?“. Christine Boutin, former politician and figure of the anti-abortion movement, rejoiced on Twitter at the decision of the American Supreme Court: “What historic news! What joy in the heart! Faced with these anti-abortion positions, Aurore Bergé judged that it was necessary “to take no risk in this area and therefore to secure [le droit à l’IVG] by inscribing it in the marble of our Constitution.

The High Council for Equality between Women and Men, an independent body, supports the inclusion of access to abortion in the Constitution and recalls that worldwide, “every year, 47,000 women die as a result of clandestine abortion, or one woman every nine minutes”.

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