France lived this Monday, March 4, 2024, a “historic” day with the inclusion of the abortion guarantee in its Constitutionthe first country in the world to provide itself with this type of safeguard to protect the termination of pregnancy.

“Historic”, “victory” and “pride” were some of the adjectives used by the vast majority of leaders of political groups in the extraordinary session of the Congress of Parliament, which brought together the National Assembly and the Senate in the Palace of Versailles to approve formally the constitutional reform.
Al final, 780 parliamentarians voted in favor of the constitutional reform and only 72 voted againstwell above the three-fifths required to carry out the first modification of the Magna Carta since 2008.

The approved change includes the expression in article 34 that the French Constitution will indicate that “The law will determine the way in which the guaranteed freedom of women to resort to voluntary interruption of pregnancy is recognized.“.

Absent from Congress, due to the president’s inability to influence the Legislature, Emmanuel Macron reacted through the social network X, where he expressed the “french pride” and the “universal message” that the country sends.

In addition, he announced that he will promulgate the law next Friday, coinciding with International Women’s Rights Day, and will do so, for the first time, in a public ceremony that will take place in front of the Ministry of Justice.

Involution in the US and possibly in Argentina

Macron decided to launch this constitutional reform after the United States Supreme Court repealed federal recognition of the right to abortion in June 2022, leaving its authorization in the hands of each state.

For this reason, many of the interventions this Monday pointed to that judicial ruling, as well as other restrictions on abortion already approved or planned, such as in Poland, Hungary or in the Argentina of President Javier Milei, as a reminder that rights can be lost .

The risk of regression exists“said leftist representative Elsa Faucillon as a summary.

The discordant note was set by far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who assured, in a statement upon arriving at the Palace of Versailles, that the danger against abortion “does not exist.”

“We are going to vote on this constitutionalization because it does not pose any problem to us, but from there we cannot talk about a historic day. It is a day exploited by Emmanuel Macron for his own glory,” said the leader of the second largest group in the National Assembly.

The meeting of Congress and the vote, the first for a constitutional reform in almost 16 years, was full of symbolic elements.

It was the first chaired by a woman, the president of the Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, and took place almost fifty years after the approval of the law on termination of pregnancy, named after the then Minister of Health, Simone Veil. .

Indeed, the prime minister arrived at Versailles accompanied by Veil’s son, Jean, who was invited to attend the session, in which there was applause in tribute to the political figure of his mother, who after surviving Auschwitz was a minister on several occasions and He became president of the European Parliament.

The deputies and senators were also aware of living a special moment, since the previous session of this type for a constitutional reform dates back to 2008, and many took selfies when entering the enormous ‘Midday Wing’ of the gigantic Palace of Versailles .

This room, capable of accommodating 1,500 people, and which has already experienced numerous historical moments, was chosen because the chamber chambers are insufficient to accommodate the 577 deputies and 348 senators.

The debate and vote in Versailles was followed from a giant screen installed in the Place du Trocadéro, in front of the Eiffel Tower, which was illuminated in the Parisian night with the inscription “mon corps, mon choix” (“my body, my decision “).

At the end of the session, a group of women from feminist organizations who were in the guest gallery sang ‘Debout les femmes’, an anthem of the feminist struggles of the 70s.

The guarantee of abortion in a national Constitution It only has one historical precedent, in 1974 in the former Yugoslavia, although that guarantee was extinguished with the end of that country.


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