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Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

News Briefs 3/18

GVL Briefs

Roe v. Wade controversy spurs constitutional protection in France

Historic progressive legislation was passed by the French government, indefinitely protecting women’s access to abortion in the country.

This took place in the form of an amendment to the French constitution by Parliament on Monday, March 3 in a joint session at the Palace of Versailles. That means the right to choose abortion is officially considered a human right protected by the constitution for women in the country.

According to The Guardian, the amendment had already passed in the Sénat and the Assemblée Nationale (which are the upper and lower houses of Parliament), however, “final approval by parliamentarians at the joint session at Versailles was needed to effect constitutional change.”

This historic constitutional protection of women’s choices and bodily autonomy comes just six days before International Women’s Day on March 8. The humanitarian move was spurred from the controversial decisions to reverse U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, according to the New York Times.

“The impulse for the latest change was the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022, an issue raised repeatedly by legislators. But the move also reflects the widespread support for abortion in France, and a successful campaign by a coalition of feminist activists and lawmakers from multiple parties,” the NYT published in an Instagram post.

French Parliament’s laws declare abortion to be a “guaranteed freedom,” which creates a barrier for any future legal action that would “drastically modify” the laws funding abortions up to 14 weeks into pregnancy.

The amendment is the very first of its kind in the world, making France the only country to constitutionally protect women’s access to abortion.

Protecting women’s access to abortion is a legislative landmark in terms of advocation of women’s rights. With accessible healthcare and more affordable medical treatments, the French government is showing their support of women’s rights where other countries, like the United States, are less inclined to take an affirmative stand.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal extended acknowledgment of recent women’s rights controversies and his of sentiments of support in his address to the Congress Hall in the Versailles Palace’s Midi wing.

“To enshrine this right in our constitution is to close the door on the tragedy of the past and its trail of suffering and pain. It will further prevent reactionaries from attacking women,” Attal said, according to The Guardian. “I say to all women within our borders and beyond, that today, the era of a world of hope begins.”

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About the Contributor
Emma Armijo
Emma Armijo, News Editor
Emma Armijo is the Lanthorn's News editor for the 2023-24 year. She previously worked with the Lanthorn for a year and a half as a news staff writer before joining the editorial team as the Arts and Entertainment editor in the winter of 2023. Emma enjoys all things creative like dance, music and drawing. Her aspirations after college include working as a professional in the dance industry and writing for a major print news organization, The New York Times. Graduating Winter 2025 Majors: Multimedia Journalism, Dance