Following the announcement by the French President of a constitutional bill to register abortion in the constitution, Alliance VITA denounces this blatant and indecent exploitation of the sensitive subject of abortion.
This bill reshuffles the legal fabric at the expense of democracy and human rights.
Through a decision in 2001, the Constitutional Council evaluated the law on abortion taking into account the freedom of women, the protection of human dignity, the right to life and the freedom of conscience. None of these principles appear as such in the constitution but were then recognised through precedents by the Constitutional Council as being constitutionally valid. The registration of abortion in the constitution without mentioning the other principles associated with it constitutes a breach which undermines the latter.
Through the play-off of Priority Preliminary Ruling on Constitutionality (PPRC), there is a concern that it could become possible to demand a pregnancy termination right up to its term or due to the sex of the child, which is prohibited in France as in many other nations. It could also lead to reconsideration of the conscientious objection clause for carers and further threaten the freedom of expression on a social and humanitarian question which remains a painful taboo subject.
Additionally, this bill marks a disconnection from the reality of the pressures and violence suffered by women
In France the number of abortions remains at a high level, with 223,300 pregnancy terminations recorded in 2021 and a record rate (15.5 abortions per 1000 women between 15 and 49 years of age in 2021). Moreover, whereas the nation is experiencing economic problems, a report by the DREES (French Directorate of Research, Analysis, Evaluation and Statistics) has established that it is the least wealthy women who abort most (2020 report). Abortion is therefore proving to be a marker of social inequality which should be a wake-up call for the public authorities. Furthermore, no attention has ever been paid to the link between violence and repetitive abortions, which has nevertheless been confirmed by studies.
Caroline Roux, the Deputy General Manager of Alliance VITA concludes:
“How can one be satisfied with such a situation? How can one begin to understand the successive statements by Emmanuel Macron, against the extension of the abortion time-limit and his awareness of the trauma of abortion and his positioning today? The inclusion in the constitution of the right to abortion is the latest stage towards the commonplace acceptance of a procedure which threatens several lives. Our society has gradually turned its back on the distress and the dramatic situations some women are confronted with. This political posturing masks the reality and prevents the establishment of a true abortion prevention scheme to enable those who so wish to continue their pregnancy.”