(LifeSiteNews) — In a highly symbolic move, the French National Assembly voted on Thursday to make “effective and equal access” to the “right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy” – the French official euphemism for abortion” a constitutional right.
337 members voted for the text presented by the extreme left “La France insoumise”(“France unsubdued”) party and its parliamentary coalition, NUPES, and only 32 voted against, while 18 abstained. The remaining members (there are 577 “députés” in the Assemblée nationale) did not join in the voting.
Remarkably, the Rassemblement national, successor of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s nationalist right-wing movement, the Front national, was divided over the issue and Marine Le Pen herself, Jean-Marie’s daughter, voiced her support for the inscription of abortion rights in the French constitution. She was officially noted as having voted for the draft law, but later the new party head, Jordan Bardella, indicated that she had been absent from the Chamber at voting time for “a medical reason,” and that she would have abstained if she had voted.
However, out of 89 Rassemblement national deputies, no fewer than 38 voted for making access to abortion a constitutional right. 23 voted against and 13 abstained. The remaining members did not take the trouble to express their opinion.
Most of the 62 Assembly members from the historic “center-right” party “Les Républicains” did the same; 13 voted for and only 7 against; 2 abstained. The vast majority of the left-wing members, including the presidential party (ironically called “Renaissance,” or “Rebirth”) approved the law.
The law itself is very concise. It proclaims that the French Constitution shall receive the following addition to its article 66-2: “The law guarantees effective and equal access to the right to voluntary interruption of pregnancy.”
The original text submitted by “NUPES” aimed to enshrine an “absolute right” to abortion that “no one may infringe.” With such wording, any legal limit on abortion could arguably be presented as unconstitutional, in particular the present 14-week time-limit (gestational age of the unborn child of 12 weeks) for unconditional access to elective abortion.
The revised text was the result of negotiations between La France Insoumise and its president Mathilde Panot, who had championed the original version, and the centrist MoDem party, which is part of Emmanuel Macron’s “Renaissance” group, and the socialists.
Pro-life priest and Red Rose Rescuer Fr. Fidelis Moscinski has been found guilty of violating the Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Yesterday Fr. Fidelis was convicted of the federal crime for a July 2022 “lock and block” rescue he conducted at a Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York. The priest is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24 and faces up to six months in federal prison.
Sign the petition to let Fr. Fidelis know you support him and are praying for him.
A Pennsylvania court issued a split ruling against a pro-life Franciscan priest and activist arrested after he entered an abortion clinic to help women choose life.
Father Christopher “Fidelis” Moscinski was found guilty of two misdemeanor charges and not guilty of a felony trespass and a misdemeanor resist, for participating in a Red Rose Rescue at a Planned Parenthood.
Fr. Moscinski entered the clinic on August 27, 2021 with red roses and pro-life literature ready to hand out to women and persuading them to choose life for their children.
Fr. Fidelis has participated in many Red Rose Rescues at abortion centers, and for this has been imprisoned multiple times.
He was also previously arrested for trying to save babies in Ohio in June 2021 and in New Jersey in January 2020.
After the court decision, Fr. Fidelis urged people to “continue keeping all pro-lifers anywhere who are facing charges, especially federal charges, in your prayers, and that God can bring some good out of this unjust persecution.”
Sign this petition today to let Fr. Fidelis know you stand with him and his heroic fight to save unborn lives from abortion.
Fellow pro-life activist and Red Rose Rescuer Will Goodman told LifeSite’s Jim Hale that the court’s ruling to drop one felony and reject another was a “big victory.”But the crackdown on pro-lifers continues!
Just recently the Biden administration targeted Fr. Fidelis and other pro-life activists for Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) violation charges.
This same law was also used by the FBI to raid the home of pro-life Catholic dad Mark Houck last month.
It’s really a disgrace that in America pro-lifers are increasingly being attacked and persecuted simply because they stand for life.
Fr. Fidelis Moscinski needs your prayers and support now more than ever as he continues to fearlessly battle for the unborn.
SIGN THIS PETITION TODAY to tell Fr. Fidelis you stand with him and his courageous fight!
Panot exulted when her text was adopted, proclaiming that this was “a historic signal that the National Assembly is honored to send to all women in our country, but also to all women in the world.” It was the result of a “collective consensus,” she added. This consensus was made possible by scrapping a constitutional “right to contraception” that was included in the law’s original wording, and that, according to Le Monde, would have been rejected by the right-wing dominated Senate which has yet to give the text its first reading. Is abortion more acceptable than contraception? Probably not, but financing “modern contraceptives” for millions of people of child-bearing age would represent a heavy burden on the French budget…
Politicians are clearly aiming to set up France as an example for the world. Under present laws, abortion is not technically a right but an exception and illegal abortion can still in theory be sanctioned under criminal law. Of course this never happens, even when women travel to neighboring countries to obtain abortions beyond the 14 week limit, and over the years, existing conditions such as a verified situation of social, economic, or psychological distress of the woman, a “cooling-off period,” and offers to help with material difficulties surrounding the pregnancy have been progressively deleted from the law. At the same time, pressure on women not to have abortions has been ever more heavily sanctioned.
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.” Until now, only Tito’s communist Yugoslavia dared take such a step.
In another ironic episode, the president of the “Renaissance” group who had presented a similar text to make abortion constitutional, Aurore Bergé, made a surprise return to the Chamber only three weeks after having given birth in order to retract her own abortion text officially, in order to promote Panot’s version. “The issue of abortion is neither a whim, nor a political gain, nor a political group issue,” she said, adding that the Assembly should work “differently.” “If we can’t do this on the issue of women’s rights, then we can’t do it for any text,” she said.
The fight against making abortion a constitutional right in France is far from over, however. The law must be adopted in exactly the same terms by the Senate, and perhaps go through further readings, at the end of which the National Assembly will have the upper hand. If that is achieved, the changing of the constitution will be submitted to a public referendum.
Many questions remain. Why was the constitutionalizing of abortion suggested in the first place? It 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. It was his Renaissance party that first suggested making abortion a constitutional right in France instead.
Why did Marine Le Pen finally join the initiative, saying publicly a few days ago that she was in favor of the move? Her own explanation was that she hoped to amend the text in order to “freeze” the dispositions of the current abortion laws, specifically the 14-week limit. But more pragmatically, she thus showed her submission to the French political taboo on abortion: opposing abortion is the surest way not to rise to power at a national level. Besides, her own parliamentary group includes homosexuals, some of whom favor “same-sex marriage,” traditional Catholics, and people who follow the mainstream where societal issues are involved.
According to Nicolas Bauer, associate researcher at the European Centre for Law and Justice, members of both Le Pen’s party and Les Republicains voted for the text because it rejected an “unconditional right” to abortion. He claimed that as it stands, it does not appear to be incompatible with the right to conscientious objection for doctors or with the 14-week limit.
But in truth, this amounts to laying down arms in the fight against legal killing of unborn children. In no way does it make the existing situation less bad, which is the moral condition for voting for a text that allows abortion, and then only provided that the voter’s personal full opposition to abortion is known and manifest. Under present conditions, some 223,300 legal abortions were registered in France in 2021. Before COVID, the figure was even higher, with 233,000 abortions registered in 2019.
Would the constitutional change prevent abortion from becoming even more easy to obtain? Bauer thinks not:
That said, if such a constitutional change is adopted, feminist associations will be able to challenge all these limitations on abortion before the Constitutional Council. The latter would then verify that they do not undermine ‘the effectiveness and equal access to the right to abortion.’ For example, these associations already accuse conscientious objection of making access to abortion unequal according to territory and of greatly increasing waiting times.
In any case, protecting abortion under France’s constitution could only have the effect of making the deliberate killing of an unborn child at its own mother’s request seem “normal” and “ordinary,” to “trivialize” it, in a word.
May God preserve France from such an open and complete rebellion against natural and divine law. The fight is on.