Macron says will put right to abortion in French constitution in ‘coming months’

© Michel Euler, AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday his government would put forward a draft law enshrining abortion rights in the French constitution within months.

In a speech paying tribute to the late Gisele Halimi, a feminist activist and pioneer for reproductive rights, Macron said an amendment to the constitution would be submitted to parliament.

"This will enshrine the freedom of women to choose abortion, and be a solemn guarantee that nothing can ever limit or abolish this right because it will have become irreversible," he said.

"The rights of women are always a fragile conquest," Macron said.

France's National Assembly had in November 2022 already voted in favour of the constitutional change, but without deciding on a timeline.

The move has been accelerated after the US Supreme Court overturned abortion rights in June, sparking pressure from campaigners for France to do the reverse in a symbol of its commitment to women's rights.

Macron was speaking at a national tribute for Halimi, who died in 2020 aged 93 after a long career as a lawyer, activist and politician.

In a landmark case in 1972, she won the acquittal of a minor who was on trial for abortion after becoming pregnant through rape.

But Macron's choice to focus on Halimi on International Women's Day sparked some resistance, even from within her family.

Her son Serge Halimi, a journalist, stayed away from the ceremony, saying it came "at a time when the country is rising up against an extremely unfair pensions reform".

Abortions were de-criminalised in France in 1975.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Should abortion rights be enshrined in the French constitution?
France's answer on abortion: Should constitution include a woman's right to choose?
French lawmakers approve bill enshrining abortion rights in the constitution