The Senate rejects the inclusion of the right to abortion in the Constitution


The mostly right-wing senators rejected Wednesday in committee a proposal to include the right to abortion and contraception in the Constitution, carried by the environmentalist senator Mélanie Vogel, auguring the same fate next Wednesday in the hemicycle.

The proposed constitutional law will be examined at first reading in the context of a space reserved (“parliamentary niche”) for the environmental group.

While claiming to be “attached to the protection of abortion”, the Senate Law Commission considers that “a constitutional revision is not necessary”. The group presidents of the senatorial majority, Bruno Retailleau (LR) and Hervé Marseille (centrist) are on the same line.

“Everything will be decided during the session,” commented Mélanie Vogel to AFP, recalling that political groups generally allow freedom to vote on societal subjects of this type.

According to the Law Commission, the inclusion of a constitutional right to abortion and contraception “is not justified by the situation encountered in our country”. "It imports a debate linked to the constitutional organization specific to the United States, very different from that of France," said the commission in a press release.

The Law Commission also considers that "the purely proclamatory and symbolic approach, desired by the authors of the text (...) puts at the heart of the news a subject on which there is no questioning".

"It's not at all cosmetic and symbolic," reacted Mélanie Vogel. “It is not to display the importance of a right, it is to prevent regressive laws in practice”, she underlined.

“No one may infringe the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy and contraception. The law guarantees to anyone who so requests free and effective access to these rights”, according to the text proposed by the environmental group.

It was co-signed by more than a hundred senators from five political groups (ecologist, PS, CRCE with a communist majority, RDPI with a Renaissance majority, RDSE with a radical majority). The presidents of the PS groups Patrick Kanner and RDPI François Patriat notably co-signed it, as well as the president of the CRCE group Eliane Assassi.

It is part of a series of parliamentary initiatives taken in response to the historic decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to revoke the right to abortion.

The debate should rebound at the end of November in the National Assembly, similar bills being part of the texts that the LFI and Renaissance groups wish to include on the agenda, within the framework of their respective reserved spaces.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image Credit: Jo Bouroch /

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