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France: enshrining abortion in constitution is of 'huge significance'

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French parliamentarians vote to revise the country’s constitution to enshrine ‘guaranteed freedom’ to access an abortion.

Widespread rollback in abortion rights in USA partly prompted the move

‘Today’s vote in France should pave the way for stronger protection of access to abortion elsewhere’ - Agnès Callamard

In response to a vote this afternoon by the French Congress to enshrine abortion as a guaranteed freedom in the French constitution, Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: 

“This historic vote makes France the first country ever to enshrine abortion in its constitution and is of huge significance given the rollback of this essential right around the world. 

“Enshrining abortion in the constitution is a high-water mark for women’s rights and a testament to years of tireless campaigning by so many. 

“It sends a message of hope and solidarity to women’s groups and to all defenders of abortion and other sexual and reproductive rights.

“The United States has shown how devastatingly, dangerous and retrogressive it is to undermine abortion as a right. 

“In Europe, there are still countries such as Poland and Andorra where access to abortion is highly restricted and where those fighting for this right face prosecution. 

“Protecting the freedom to access an abortion provides an important bulwark against these increasingly vociferous anti-rights movements. 

“Today’s vote in France should pave the way for stronger protection of access to abortion elsewhere.”

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