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Set in stone ? France enshrines abortion rights in constitution

On March 4th 2024, Maître Amélie Beauchemin was invited to France24 alongside Charlotte Minvielle, Alice Ackermann and Hélène de Lauzun to debate the recent enshrinement of the freedom to have an abortion in the French Constitution.

On March 8th, the French Constitution was amended to include the freedom to have an abortion following years of debates before the French Parliament. This debate was an occasion for Me Beauchemin to refute the idea that this amendment would transform the Constitution into a catalog of ever-changing rights, and to relate its historic importance and its symbolism while emitting doubts as to its effectivity in practice.

She explained why in light of the practical difficulties faced by women trying to exercise their right to abort and the repeated attacks of planned parenthoods and other associations, the wording of the amendment can be seen as underwhelming, as the Constitution now guarantees a freedom and not a right, which may be infringed upon by future governments.

As such, according to her, it is necessary to remain vigilant and ensure the protection of these rights in practice.