Abortion: Emmanuel Macron announces a draft revision of the Constitution to introduce the right to abortion

Abortion: Emmanuel Macron announces a draft revision of the Constitution to introduce the right to abortion

Emmanuel Macron finally followed the recommendations from his own side. On the occasion of the tribute ceremony to the lawyer and activist for women’s rights, the President of the Republic was expected on the issue of abortion, “Inseparable from Gisèle Halimi” according to his entourage.

“I want the strength of this message to help us change our Constitution in order to engrave the freedom of women to resort to voluntary termination of pregnancy,” declared Emmanuel Macron, referring to the fight of Gisèle Halimi. “Because women’s rights are always a fragile conquest,” he justified before the audience at the Paris Courthouse, adding that he was sending a “universal message to all women”. A proposal for revision from the National Assembly had been voted on November 24, 2022. The Senate ended up deciding in favor to it on February 1, after having rejected it for the first time on October 19.

A subtlety tipped the scales: an amendment transforming the formula “the law guarantees the effectiveness and equal access to the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy” into “the law determines the conditions under which freedom of woman to terminate her pregnancy.

Constitutional review

The proposal was not voted on in the same terms by the Senate and the Assembly, which means that it had to return to the deputies and senators once again to be submitted for a second reading. It should then have been put to a referendum.

By making this gesture in favor of a draft revision of the Constitution on his initiative, Emmanuel Macron increases the chances of the revision being a success. The two chambers will meet in Congress and will have to approve the text by a majority of 3/5ths of the votes cast. The referendum is the other option, rarely requested.

Symbolic scope

Since the beginning of the Fifth Republic, no proposal for revision, on the initiative of parliamentarians, had been successful. All the modifications of the Constitution had intervened following the vote of a presidential revision project.

The idea of ​​this constitutionalization of abortion had germinated last June after the historic decision of the Supreme Court in the United States to remove this right from the founding text. It carries a strong symbolic dimension, the Constitution representing the identity of France and could deter any backtracking on the right to abortion.

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