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  • Writer's pictureCamie Idzinski

France Amends Their Constitution in Favor of Accessible Health Care

France has kicked off Women’s History Month with some big news. Legislators enshrined the right to abortion into their written constitution---making France the first country to do so with a vote of 780-72. As of March 6th, this is now sparking debate in other countries regarding their accessibility to women’s health care. 

The spirit of the bill was inspired by the fresh overturn of Roe v. Wade in the U.S., affecting 21 states nationwide. 14 of the 21 states have banned abortion entirely. Emmanuel Macron---President of France---ensured that women across the nation would not fall victim to the same circumstances as the U.S.

“France will enforce a woman's right to abortion to be protected.” 

-Emmanuel Macron.

A study done by Focus 2030 explains that less than half of the world's countries perform abortions; with only 47 countries performing them for health reasons, 43 countries performing them to save the mother’s life, and is strictly prohibited in 22 countries.

The Center for Reproductive Rights explains that 40% of women live in countries with restricted reproductive laws. The World Health Organization estimated that 39,000 women and girls die due to a lack of healthcare services and unsafe abortion practices. Considering all of these factors, France thought something had to be done.

According to NBC News, “Macron will preside over the constitutional ceremony. Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti will use a 100-kilogram (220-pound) press from 1810 to imprint the amendment in France’s 1958 constitution. It will include the phrase, ‘the freedom of women to have recourse to an abortion, which is guaranteed.’” People have also found that this phrase embodies a similar phase Yugislovia once had, stating, “A person is free to decide on having children.

On March 8th, NBC News said that other countries are rallying together for gender-based justice. In Ireland, voters will decide whether to change the constitution, expanding the definition of the family to avoid having women being seen for their written domestic duties. In Istanbul, protesters plan to bring attention to women-based violence. The UNCA (United Nations Children’s Agency) says in a report, released on International Women’s Day, that more than 230 million women and girls around the world have undergone female genital mutilation. In the past 8 years, the numbers jumped up by 30 million. 

Events in France on Friday, March 8th, are said to be festive and “Empowering” by news outlets in spark of the recent news.

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