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Right to abortion: the essential vigilance

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Lhe rise of conservative anti-abortion or anti-choice movements in the United States and in certain European countries such as Poland and, more recently, Italy has given rise to legitimate concern. Even in places where it has been legalized for a long time, recourse to abortion is a practice that raises many ethical and philosophical questions so that its legitimacy is never fully established. The virulence of anti-abortion attacks, the disinformation conveyed by social networks require vigilance if not a political counter-offensive in order: the defense of the right to abortion has occupied an essential place in the campaign of the Joe Biden’s midterm elections. She helped remobilize part of the Democratic electorate, still reeling from the decision taken in June by the Supreme Court to reverse its Roe judgment. vs. Wade, who had guaranteed at the federal level, for half a century, the right of American women to terminate their pregnancies.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Constitutionalization of abortion: “The vote of the National Assembly reflects the consensus within public opinion”

In this context, the vote in the hemicycle of the National Assembly, Thursday, November 24, was reassuring. By 337 votes for, 18 abstentions and 32 votes against, the deputies voted for access to abortion, authorized in 1975 by the Veil law, which framed the decriminalization of abortion, to benefit from legal protection. additional. If the process comes to an end, it will be enshrined in the French Constitution that “the law guarantees the effectiveness and equal access to the right to abortion”.

To achieve this large vote, the group La France insoumise and the presidential majority, who each defended a bill, agreed to make common cause. This union of circumstance revealed, by contrast, the divisions of the right and the extreme right, which were divided between votes for, against and abstention.

Lack of practitioners

For the constitutional proposal to succeed, it is now necessary that the Senate, with a majority on the right, vote the text in identical terms, which is not certain, then that the French people be consulted by referendum or that the Congress be convened, if the President of the Republic takes over the text on his own account. The path therefore remains long and uncertain. On the sidelines of the vote of the deputies, a Viavoice poll commissioned by the High Council for equality between women and men indicates that 81% of French people declare themselves in favor of the constitutionalization of the right to abortion. Everything therefore seems to indicate that no serious threat weighs in France on the recourse to abortion.

Read also: Right to abortion: the steps to take before its inclusion in the Constitution

However, we must not delude ourselves. For a series of reasons which relate to the lack of practitioners, to the sometimes defective information available to women, to the fact that certain doctors and hospital services are reluctant to perform an unrewarding act, abortion remains for too many women a path of the fighter. Inequalities between regions are glaring, as shown by the parliamentary report of the delegation for women’s rights. Many find themselves out of time, for lack of support, which prompted the legislator, a few months ago, to extend the legal period from twelve to fourteen weeks.

This acknowledgment of failure should encourage the Ministry of Health to be inventive and combative in order to find satisfactory solutions in each part of the territory. Parliamentarians should exercise their right of scrutiny more aggressively. Otherwise, everything that happened Thursday, November 24 within the walls of the National Assembly will appear as a way to reassure oneself on the cheap.

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