Is abortion in the Constitution over?

President LR of the Senate Gérard Larcher said he was against including the right to abortion in the Constitution.

Is abortion in the Constitution over?

President LR of the Senate Gérard Larcher said he was against including the right to abortion in the Constitution. A blow to the debate.

On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court repealed the constitutional right to abortion. A detonation that resonated as far as France, where the government immediately said it was in favor of strengthening the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) by including it in the Constitution. At the beginning of 2023, the Assembly and then the Senate voted in favor of this registration. But now that the stakes are very close, the President of the Senate is backpedaling. So much so that the company seems compromised.

“Abortion is not threatened in our country,” said Gérard Larcher on Tuesday January 23 on Franceinfo. “There are already a number of decisions from the Constitutional Council which guarantee” this right. “If it were threatened, believe me, I would fight for it to be maintained. But I think that the Constitution is not a catalog of social and societal rights.”

However, the Senate vote is crucial. To modify the Constitution, the two chambers of Parliament must first vote on the same text in turn, then meet in Congress for a final vote. The debates begin this Wednesday in the Assembly, where a majority should easily be found between the left and the Macronists. But in the Senate, where the inclusion of abortion in the Constitution will be debated at the end of February, the LR majority could well align itself behind the opinion of President Gérard Larcher and block it.

The government therefore perhaps went too far by announcing in December the date of the Congress which would vote on the inclusion of abortion in the Constitution, March 5. The game is still far from won. The presidential camp, however, had reason to believe it: in February 2023, the senators, after heated debates, agreed on a toned down formulation referring to the "freedom of the woman to end the pregnancy", preferring these terms to those of “right to abortion” dear to the left. The Assembly ended up validating this new twist in the interests of compromise. A year later, this compromise no longer seems sufficient.

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