Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution.
The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.
“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill.
Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations.
Ce qui arrive ailleurs ne doit advenir en 🇫🇷!
Nous devons sanctuariser le droit à l’#IVG pour les générations futures
— Marie-Pierre Rixain (@RixainMP) June 25, 2022
In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution.
In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency.
She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill.
The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday.
Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.
The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.
Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.