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Right to abortion: four questions on the majority proposal to include abortion in the Constitution – franceinfo

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“Unfortunately, nothing is impossible.” A few hours after the historic decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to revoke the constitutional right to abortion, the Renaissance group (formerly LREM) announced, on Saturday June 25, the filing of a bill to register the right to abortion in the marble of the French Constitution. Aurore Bergé, the brand new president of the group in the National Assembly, prefers to warn: what happened across the Atlantic “calls for us to take measures in France so that we cannot have tomorrow reversals that might exist.” Franceinfo answers four questions on this parliamentary initiative. 1Where does this bill come from? It was Mathilde Panot who submitted the idea first. In a tweet published Friday evening at 6:30 p.m., the head of the deputies La France insoumise (LFI) writes that she will propose on Monday to the left alliance (Nupes) “to file a bill to register the right to abortion in the French Constitution. The tragedy on the other side of the Atlantic obliges us. To prevent any obstacle to the fundamental right of abortion in France, I propose on Monday to the NUPES to file a bill to include it in the Constitution. — Mathilde Panot (@MathildePanot) June 24, 2022 But on Saturday morning, Mathilde Panot was overtaken by the Renaissance group at the National Assembly. Aurore Bergé thus proposed to include “respect for abortion in our Constitution” and this “as of today”. “We both spent the evening on the phone”, tells franceinfo his colleague from the group, Marie-Pierre Rixain. “We wanted to go quickly because what is happening in the United States obliges us, continues the LREM deputy for the 4th district of Essonne. “We believe we are safe in France, but that is not true. There are conservative forces organizing themselves. With this bill, we want to protect the right to abortion for future generations. Political upheavals cannot call into question this right.” An initiative supported by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, as she wrote on Twitter. Dear @auroreberge, the government will strongly support this bill. For all women, for human rights, we must engrave this achievement in stone. Parliament must be able to come together very widely around this text. https://t.co/pACsGmFFe3 – Élisabeth BORNE (@Elisabeth_Borne) June 25 , 2022 2What this text contains In this text of about twenty lines, it is recalled that “this unbearable backsliding”, underway in the United States, “forces us to recall the indispensable and inviolable nature of the right to abortion in our country and in the world.” This proposed constitutional law stipulates that “no one may be deprived of the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy”. It therefore proposes “to enshrine in the Constitution the impossibility of deprive a person of the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG). ” Aurore Bergé insists: “We do not change the Constitution as we change the law” therefore “it is a guarantee that we must give to women”. The elected representative of Yvelines believes that the measure will be “widely shared on the benches of the National Assembly and the Senate”. The revision of the Constitution responds to a specific process. It can take place either on the initiative of the President of the Republic, or on the initiative of Parliament. “In this field, the two parliamentary assemblies have the same powers, which implies that the draft or the proposal of constitutional law is voted in the same terms by the National Assembly and the Senate, can we read on the site of the “National Assembly. The text is definitively adopted either by referendum, or by a vote by a majority of three-fifths of the votes cast by the two chambers of Parliament meeting in Congress at Versailles.” 3Is this the first time that such a bill has been tabled? Not quite. In 2018, the deputies of the opposition, and in particular of La France insoumise, had already proposed to include the right to contraception and abortion in the French Constitution. These were amendments resulting from the proposals of the High Council for Equality between women and men. But at the time, the National Assembly rejected the initiative. “There is no need to brandish fears” in France with regard to challenges in foreign countries, even then reacted the co-rapporteur Yaël Braun-Pivet, today the majority candidate for the perch. Nicole Belloubet, then Keeper of the Seals, also explained that this right in France was “sufficiently guaranteed”. In July 2019, new initiative. Luc Carvounas, then PS deputy and member of the National Assembly delegation for women’s rights, had in turn tabled a bill (which we have found) to enshrine the right to abortion in the Constitution. Contacted by franceinfo on Saturday, the current mayor of Alfortville (Val-de-Marne) smiles: “I see that we are taking up our idea… If the deputies of the majority wish it, the text is ready, it is in the boxes. I don’t want to get into an argument: if our work can be used now, that’s fine”. “I remember very well. We made this initiative coincide with the first anniversary of Simone Veil’s pantheonization.” Luc Carvounas, former PS deputy at franceinfo 4Can the right to abortion really be threatened in France? Contacted by AFP, the president of the Women’s Foundation is concerned. “It would be enough for us to have a Parliament with a conservative majority, and abortion could be banned”, reacted Anne-Cécile Mailfert. If, today, no political force promises to question this right, certain remarks can sow doubt. During the 2012 presidential election, Marine Le Pen notably drew criticism by proposing to de-reimburse “comfort abortions”. In an interview with Brut last spring, the candidate of the National Rally had tried to make things clear. “I saw that it was very shocking when I mentioned this term at the time, which was a term used by a doctor, which was the term ‘comfort abortion'”, he said. she answered. On the other hand, she always said she was “against the extension of the duration of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy” from 12 to 14 weeks. What the spokesperson for the National Rally, Philippe Ballard, said on franceinfo on Saturday morning. “We are sovereignists, so we are not going to meddle in the affairs of others”, evaded the deputy from Oise. “The Veil Law [consacrant ce droit en France], we do not touch it”. Could the French Parliament repeal the right to abortion? “It could happen but, for that, a majority would have to decide in this direction, and I have big doubts about that”, reacts to BFMTV Gwénaële Calvès, professor of public and constitutional law. “In France, there are problems of access to abortion and difficulties in making it effective. But we are not threatened by a repeal of the Veil law”. According to her, the problem is “very specific to the United States”. Apart from Poland, she says, “it is hard to imagine that this could happen elsewhere in Europe”.

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