French Senate stops again initiative to enshrine abortion in the Constitution

The upper house rejects the text for a third time: "It will not strengthen the effectiveness of the right to abortion". 

Evangelical Focus

Public Sénat, Evangelical Focus, · PARIS · 30 JANUARY 2023 · 14:57 CET

French Senate. / <a target="_blank" href="">Jacques Paquier</a>, Wikipedia.,
French Senate. / Jacques Paquier, Wikipedia.

The French Senate Law Commission recently rejected a draft law aimed at enshrining abortion in the Constitution.

They questioned the practical impact of such a move, stating that “this constitutionalization is a false good idea. It will not strengthen the effectiveness of the right to abortion”.

According to Agnès Canayer, a senator of Les Républicain (the Republicans), if the daft law is passed, “it will not increase the financial resources of family planning centers. It will not combat medical desertion”.

“We are very committed to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy, but the wording of the Bill is legally incomplete”, she added at an interview in the morning program of the Public Sénat television.

In contrast, Socialist senator and vice president of the Law Commission, Marie-Pierre de la Gontrie, pointed out that “they told us that it would be useless, that it would not protect the right to abortion, but now they are telling us that is badly written, and that is a pretext. They are realising that they are very isolated on this issue, including within their electorate”.


Third rejection

This is the third time that the Senate of France rejects such a text, after it did it twice last October, because “the purely proclamatory and symbolic approach desired by the authors of the text puts at the heart of the news a subject on which there is no questioning in France”.

In November 2022, the lower house of the French parliament approved it with a large majority of 337 votes for and 32 against.

The draft law will be examined in public session on 1 February. “It is difficult at this stage to make a prediction on the vote, there are 17 undecided votes”, said de la Gontrie.


CPDH: “A very totalitarian position”

In an interview with Evangelical Focus, Franck Meyer, president of the Protestant Committee of Human Dignity (CPDH), lamented that “abortion has become a dogma for the parliamentary majority”.

He stressed that the wording of the draft law “is a very totalitarian position that does not allow any reasonable evaluation”.

“The very example of an ideological isolation that forbids any intellectual and factual questioning […] The public authorities should therefore question themselves and have real policies to prevent abortion and support women and families”.

He also warned that “the idea that abortion would become a fundamental freedom defended by the French Constitution, would be a serious decision that could reduce to nothing the value of prenatal human life and probably of life in general”.

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