People in Paris celebrate vote to enshrine abortion in the constitution - Copyright Amnesty International

France: Enshrining abortion in the constitution “a bulwark against anti-rights movements”

Responding to a vote by the French Congress to enshrine abortion as a guaranteed freedom in the French constitution, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, said:

“This historic vote makes France the first country ever to enshrine abortion in its constitution and is of huge significance given the rollback of this essential right around the world. Protecting the freedom to access an abortion provides an important bulwark against these increasingly vociferous anti-rights movements.

“The United States has shown how devastatingly, dangerous and retrogressive it is to undermine abortion as a right. In Europe, there are still countries such as Poland and Andorra, where access to abortion is highly restricted and where those fighting for this right face prosecution. Today’s vote in France should pave the way for stronger protection of access to abortion elsewhere.

“Enshrining abortion in the constitution is a high-water mark for women’s rights and a testament to years of tireless campaigning by so many. It sends a message of hope and solidarity to women’s groups and to all defenders of abortion and other sexual and reproductive rights.”

Background

Amnesty International and other human rights groups also called for a more inclusive approach, ensuring that the right to abortion is guaranteed not only to women and girls, but also to trans men, non-binary people and every person who can become pregnant.