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Tuesday April 16, 2024

France becomes first country in world to enshrine abortion in constitution

Following approval of bill, Eiffel Tower was lit up with words "my body, my choice"

By Web Desk
March 05, 2024
An image of the French parliament at the Palace of Versailles. — AFP
An image of the French parliament at the Palace of Versailles. — AFP 

In a historic move, France has become the world's first country to enshrine abortion rights into its constitution after the French parliament voted 780 to 72 in favour of the measure on Monday, CNN reported.

Following the approval of the bill, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the words "my body, my choice."

The French Senate and the National Assembly had already approved the bill earlier this year and were awaiting parliament's approval.

The bill, which was approved at the iconic Palace of Versailles during a special gathering of lawmakers, has "guaranteed freedom" for abortion in the country.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, addressing the parliamentarians, said, "We're sending a message to all women: your body belongs to you, and no one can decide for you."

The United States Supreme Court's 2022 decision to reverse the Roe v Wade ruling that recognised women’s constitutional right to abortion prompted activists to push France to explicitly protect the right in its basic law.

While the move has garnered praise from all around the globe, it has also attracted criticism, with French bishops reiterating the church's opposition to abortion.

The Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican body that focuses on issues related to bioethics, said in a statement that "in the era of universal human rights, there can be no 'right' to take human life."