French bishops lament country’s enshrinement of abortion in constitution

Members of the French Parliament are shown when they convened for a previous revision of the country’s constitution at Versailles castle, near Paris, in 2008. / Credit: Joel Sagat/AFP via Getty Images

ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 1, 2024 / 16:00 pm (CNA).

By a vote of 267-50, the French Senate this week approved a constitutional amendment to include women’s recourse to abortion as a “guaranteed freedom.” 

In the wake of the vote on Monday, March 4, the amendment is expected to receive a final vote of approval at the Palace of Congresses in Versailles. If approved as expected, the country will become the first in the world to specifically make abortion a right enumerated in its constitution.

“I committed to making women’s freedom to abort irreversible, enshrining it in the Constitution,” said French President Emmanuel Macron on X. “The Senate has taken a decisive step, which I welcome,” he added.

French bishops respond

In a Feb. 29 statement posted on X, the French Bishops’ Conference said it was “saddened” by the senators’ vote on the constitutional measure.

The bishops pointed out that abortion “remains an affront to life in its beginnings” and that “it cannot be seen solely from the perspective of women’s rights.”

The prelates also regretted that the parliamentary debate “did not mention the measures to help those women and men who would like to keep their child.”

“The bishops’ conference will be vigilant with respect to the freedom of choice of parents who decide, even in difficult situations, to keep their child and the freedom of conscience of doctors and all health care personnel, whose courage and commitment it commends,” the prelates concluded.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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