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France, the first country in the world that can make abortion constitutionally right

France, the first country in the world that can make abortion constitutionally

France is expected to include the right to abortion in its Constitution on Monday, in a rare parliamentary Congress at the Palace of Versailles, after the bill was passed in the Senate.

If Congress approves the decision, France will become the only country in the world that clearly protects the right to terminate a pregnancy.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed last year to enshrine the right to abortion – legal in France since 1974 – in the Constitution, after the US Supreme Court overturned the law enabling this procedure in 2022.

Currently, it is up to each state in the US to decide whether to ban or allow the procedure.

The lower house of the Parliament of France has approved by a majority the decision that makes abortion a "guaranteed freedom" in the Constitution.

In a historic vote on February 28, more than 80 percent of voters in the conservative-dominated Senate gave the bill the green light.

Now the document is expected to go to the final stage in a rare meeting that takes place on Monday.

Three-fifths of the deputies will have to vote for the bill in order for it to be approved.

Leah Hoctor, from the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the vote would be historic.

"If the freedom to decide to have an abortion is included in the Constitution of France, this will be the first such clear legal provision in Europe and in the world," she said.

Chile included the right to abortion in a draft in 2022, but voters in the referendum did not vote to approve it.

Some states hint that they enjoy this right.

The Cuban constitution guarantees women "sexual and reproductive rights".

Even some Balkan states have inherited versions of the Constitution of the former Yugoslavia that determined that it is a human right to decide "about the birth of a child".

Other states mention abortion in the Constitution, but allow it only in certain situations", said Hoctor.

In Kenya, for example, the Constitution states that "abortion is not permitted unless trained health professionals assess that there is an urgent need for treatment, or if the mother's health is at risk, or if permitted by any other law."

Abortion was legalized in France in 1974 through a law pushed forward by Simone Veil, then Minister of Health, an iconic woman for women's rights.

The majority of the French people support the decision to provide additional protection for this right.

A poll conducted by the French company IFOP, in November 2022, found that 86 percent of the French people support the idea of ​​including the law in the Constitution.

Left-wing and centrist politicians have welcomed the reform, while right-wing senators have privately said they feel under pressure to pass it.

An MP has said her daughters would never visit her again for Christmas if she did not vote for the bill.

Macron described the February 28 vote in the Senate as a "decisive step" and immediately requested the meeting of the Parliamentary Congress - a group of deputies from the two houses of Parliament - on Monday.

The last time there was a call to change the Constitution was in 2008, when the deputies approved some reforms under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Among those changes was the limitation of presidential mandates to two, as well as greater protection and independence for the media./ REL

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