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French president wants right to abortion added to constitution

French President Emmanuel Macron talks to the press as he leaves after a European Council Informal Meeting at the Palacio de Congreso in Granada, southern Spain, on Oct. 6, 2023. / Credit: LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

ACI Prensa Staff, Oct 6, 2023 / 18:20 pm (CNA).

In his speech for the 65th anniversary of the French Constitution, President Emmanuel Macron called for abortion to be included “as soon as possible” in the country’s Magna Carta.

In his words before the Constitutional Council, the French president on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of adopting a new constitution, as called for by several political groups, especially on the left, but said he is in favor of introducing some changes, such as abortion.

France decriminalized abortion in 1975 and in 2022 the gestational stage was extended to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

However, the president’s intention is for abortion to be protected by the Magna Carta, as expressed on March 8 during a speech for International Women’s Day.

“I want the force of this message to help us change our Constitution to enshrine the freedom of women to have recourse to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” Macron said at the Palace of Justice in Paris.

In November 2022, the National Assembly approved including abortion as a “right.” However, in February the Senate modified the proposal to make it like a “freedom.” Therefore, both chambers will have to come to an agreement.

In the press conference he gave Sept. 23 on the flight from Marseille to Rome, Pope Francis spoke out against any practice that goes against the right to life.

When responding to journalists about whether he addressed the issue of euthanasia with Macron — a practice also supported by the government — the Holy Father noted: “Today we didn’t talk about this issue, but we talked about it during the other visit, when we met. I spoke clearly when he came to the Vatican; I told him my opinion, clearly: You don’t play with life, neither at the beginning nor at the end. You don’t play with it.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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