Abortion in the French Constitution : Indecent Exploitation of Abortion


By announcing on Sunday 29th October 2023 a bill to incorporate abortion in the French constitution, the French President and his government are indecently exploiting the emotional issue of abortion for political purposes, disconnected from the reality on the ground.

In 2022, France experienced a record number of abortions (234,300) and its highest yet rate of abortion (16.9 per thousand women of child-bearing age). In that context, the inclusion of abortion in the French constitution, whereas its availability is in no way threatened, is totally disconnected from the urgencies confronting France on social matters.

As a result of a trial of strength with the LFI party (La France Insoumise – Unsubmitting France) which had submitted a constitutional bill during its parliamentary window on 30th November, President Macron went one further on twitter: “In 2024, the freedom of women to resort to abortion will be irreversible”.

If abortion continues to be a sensitive issue, it is precisely because it is an irreversible act with lives at stake. Thanks to the studies conducted by the DREES (Directorate for Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics), the government cannot be unaware that women on low incomes resort to abortion more frequently than those on comfortable incomes.

According to Alliance VITA, which provides support for women confronted with unintended pregnancies, many women with low income sadly resort to abortion, reluctantly, under masculine pressure or from their relatives and for economic reasons.

The priority policy should be to undertake an impartial study to analyse the causes, the conditions and the consequences of abortion in France in order to then establish a true preventive policy which would make it possible to avoid a large number of personal tragedies by presenting women with alternative possibilities.

Caroline Roux, Deputy General Manager of the association states: “At Alliance VITA, we experience at first hand that not all women abort freely and by choice, but rather do so under duress and in the absence of any alternative”. This so-called irreversible freedom is a delusion and a subterfuge which does not meet the true expectations of many women to be protected from social and economic pressures or even, in some cases, from the violence they are sometimes subjected to, to abort.”

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