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PARIS (LifeSiteNews) — The French Senate voted in favor of a constitutional amendment that seeks to enshrine access to abortion into the country’s constitution. 

The legislation was passed by a 166 to 152 vote on February 1 in the upper house of France’s parliament, the French newspaper Le Monde reports. 

The amendment seeks to insert “the freedom of women to terminate their pregnancies” into the French constitution. This represents a change from the bill passed in the French National Assembly (the lower house of the French parliament) in November 2022. The original text of the proposed legislation sought to introduce a “right to abortion” whereas the new text speaks only of the “freedom” to have an abortion. The proposed law was adopted by an amendment put forth by Senator Philippe Bas of the conservative Les Républicains party, who presented it as a compromise. 

RELATED: The fight for life is on as French National Assembly votes to make abortion a constitutional right 

Due to the changed text, the bill will now have to go back to the National Assembly. If it were to pass there, a referendum would be held to decide whether or not the legislation will become a part of the French constitution. 

Socialist Senator Laurence Rossignol’s remarks showed that the legislation was meant to protect so-called “abortion rights” in case a less pro-abortion government ever came to power in France. 

“Ravier [a member of Eric Zemmour’s right-wingReconquête! party] represents a political current which we know very well can one day govern this country, and our vote today (…) will show who we are talking to, to opponents of abortion or those promoting women’s rights,” Rossignol said during the Senate hearing. 

Enshrining abortion access in the constitution is seen by many as a symbolic act and a response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States of America.  

Céline Thiebault-Martinez, president of the French Coordination for the European Women’s Lobby (CLEF) said that the Senate’s vote sends “a very strong signal beyond the borders of France, to women in Europe and around the world.” 

READ: Thousands of pro-lifers march in Paris as French Parliament considers radical pro-abortion measure 

LifeSiteNews’ Paris correspondent Jeanne Smits wrote in November last year that the process to enshrine abortion into the constitution “was launched because of the reversal of Roe v. Wade in the US, which was presented by many as a sign that ‘women’s rights’ were in peril.” 

Emmanuel Macron misguidedly suggested that the right to abortion be inscribed in the European Charter of Human Rights, which has no competence in such matters,” she continued. It was his Renaissance party that first suggested making abortion a constitutional right in France instead. 

READ: European Parliament demands addition of ‘safe and legal’ abortion to rights charter 

If abortion rights as such are indeed carved in the cold stone of the Constitution, a new sad and somber step will be taken towards the fulfillment of the culture of death.’” Smits stated. “Until now, only Tito’s communist Yugoslavia dared take such a step.” 

Feminist organizations and pro-abortion parliamentarians were not fully satisfied with the situation and demanded that the French government under Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne introduce a law that would be easier to constitutionalize. If the government itself were to introduce a similar bill that was accepted by both houses of parliament, there would be no mandatory referendum, but rather the members of the two houses would have to meet for a congress and adopt the text with three-fifths of the votes. 

France currently has a 14-week limit (the official gestational age of an unborn child of 12 weeks) for abortion on demand. Enshrining abortion in the constitution could lead to legal challenges to that 14-week—or any—limit on feticide by pro-abortion groups.