Analysis
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French National Assembly in Paris, FranceVictor Velter/Shutterstock

(LifeSiteNews) — An overwhelming majority of members of the French National Assembly on Tuesday approved a government-proposed revision of the Constitution enshrining the “freedom” of women to have an abortion: 493 members voted in favor, while only 30 voted against, and 23 abstained. 

The majority of the right-wing “Rassemblement national” group – 46 out of a total of 88 members, including their leader Marine Le Pen – voted for the inscription of this “freedom” as one of France’s fundamental laws. 

The idea of “sacralizing” abortion was born in the mind of President Emmanuel Macron as a retort to the reversal of Roe v. Wade in the U.S., and the constitutional law has been fast-tracked by the government in order to obtain its solemn adoption on or around March 8, International Women’s Day. For that to happen, the text will need to be approved in identical terms by the French Senate by the end of February. If this happens – and it is not 100 percent certain – a parliamentary Congress comprising both the lower and upper chambers would be convened in Versailles and the law would require a majority vote of three-fifths of the potential voters. 

If the law reaches this stage, there’s little chance of it being rejected. If not, the text will return before the National Assembly for further debate. 

Tuesday’s vote took place as thousands of farmers are taking to the streets and highways of France to protest against European and French “green” policies that are eating into their already fragile resources and threatening their very existence. On the same day, France’s new prime minister, Gabriel Attal, gave his maiden programmatical speech at the National Assembly, concluding with the words: “To be French in 2024… is to be able to be prime minister while being open about one’s homosexuality.” 

READ: Macron appoints France’s first openly homosexual prime minister 

In a further twist of irony, France, which is facing an unprecedented birthrate crisis, with abortion statistics rising spectacularly – over 234,300 “voluntary interruptions of pregnancy,” as the euphemism goes, took place in 2022, 17,000 more than the preceding year – is in the process of constitutionally proclaiming its right to demographic suicide. 

France’s childless president wants to set in stone the possibility for every woman to eliminate her living child from her womb, making “abortion” a part of the republic’s identity, on a par with its motto, its political organization, its primary concerns. The blue, white, and red flag; the tagline liberty-equality-fraternity; and abortion for all are now the defining phrases of the French Republic. The latter, which proclaims the freedom of abortion, is in a way the completion of the former, which illustrate the rights of man without God of the French Revolution. It accepts no fundamental limit to women’s rights, not even in favor of the unborn child: and the matter is considered to be urgent. 

Given that access to abortion is so easy in France that the numbers keep growing, the whole procedure seems somewhat surreal. It is symbolic above all, and coming from avowed secularists, this attachment to symbols is highly instructive. They are seeking – and the words came up frequently in the debates – a “sanctuarization,” a “sacralization” of the freedom to kill. Behind this quasi-religious vocabulary, we can inevitably perceive a form of idolatry. It is not hard to see who the object of this idolatry might be: the father of lies in whose name women’s “freedom” is instrumentalized; be it an expression of their distress or of their whims, their fears or their selfishness. 

The process includes another lie, which also hides behind the use of the concept of freedom: are we free to kill, to steal, to lie, to assault? Are we free to give death simply because we refuse a new life? Man’s true freedom is to move towards good, to choose between several goods; choosing what is evil enslaves and blinds him. 

The government’s proposed law reads: “The law determines the conditions under which the freedom guaranteed to a woman to have recourse to a voluntary interruption of pregnancy is implemented.” It provides proof of a blindness that is more deliberate than that undergone with regard to the reality of abortion, the purpose of which is to destroy a unique and irreplaceable life, distinct from that of the mother. 

Of the 30 députés who voted against making the freedom to abort a constitutional right, 12 hailed from the “Republicans,” under whose watch abortion “rights” never failed to progress. In the Rassemblement national (RN) group, Marine Le Pen, as mentioned earlier, voted in favor, as well as 45 other, often prominent members of the parliamentary group. Twelve voted against. Fourteen abstained, which is tantamount to saying that the thing bothers them but that they won’t make a fuss about it all the same. This attitude is not new. “What is truth?” said the man who condemned Jesus Christ to death despite being convinced of His innocence. 

Equally remarkable is the argument used by those who did not want to approve Macron’s initiative: they stated time and again that since access to abortion is not under threat in France, its inclusion in the Constitution is irrelevant. The RN politician who took the floor before the formal vote on Tuesday, Pascale Bordes (she appears not to have taken part in the vote afterwards) declared: “Nobody, absolutely nobody in contemporary French society wants to call abortion into question, and that includes every political party in Parliament; a woman’s freedom to have an abortion is fully protected by law.” 

Does Marine Le Pen now have a free pass to the French presidency in view of the next election in 2027? Only time will tell, but it’s far more important to know in which direction she is heading. For the moment, it is one of compromise, going so far as to “sacralize” abortion as a fundamental value of France. 

READ: Lawmakers introduce legislation to legalize abortion in traditionally Catholic, pro-life Poland 

This reveals two things: the first is that in places of power, people are “for” legal abortion as a matter of principle and system, and only discuss its modalities, if at all; and the second, by extension: you cannot hope to move upwards in politics if you dare to challenge legal abortion. It is in a way an entry ticket to join the race to the top. 

And it has become so because the majority of people have submitted to it – including, to a certain extent, various pro-life movements. Rhetorical precautions, refusals clearly to campaign for the abolition of all legal abortion, injunctions in favor of a “positive” message about life rather than a denunciation of state-sponsored crime have often been foremost during public actions. This may be less true today – there seems to be more candor and less calculation overall – but in the meantime, the reality of abortion has been well and truly obscured and most approach it, like it or not, as an acquired right. Approval of legal abortion has become like the burning of three grains of incense to the gods of the day in order to live. 

One thing Tuesday’s vote has confirmed and clarified is that the powers that be want at all costs to do away with the idea that abortion is merely tolerated as a solution to “distress” (the word has been removed from the initial law years ago). Gone are the fictions of abortion as an exception, of compassionate abortion, of abortion in response to a difficult situation. The only thing that counts is the woman’s “freedom,” her own will, the exercise of which must be “guaranteed” at all levels of government. 

This, of course, raises the question of the right to conscientious objection, that small concession left to doctors and nurses which is supposed to prevent them from being forced to take part in a “voluntary interruption of pregnancy.” 

Also, in the face of a constitutionally “guaranteed freedom,” what room will be left for general protest? In a way, if Macron’s plan succeeds, this “freedom” will be raised to the level of a good proclaimed by the sovereign people. And as the French know, the 1789 Revolution ended up proclaiming: “There is no liberty for the enemies of liberty.” 

‘right’. It is a sacralization of self-genocide that was approved by the National Assembly on Tuesday. And clearly, it is not women’s “freedom” that needs protection now, but France. May God’s wrath not fall upon the “eldest daughter of the Church.” 

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