French Institutions

Abortion in the Constitution: Why it can't be a "Freedom"

Abortion: Freedom in the Constitution?

By Nicolas Bauer1699347600000

On Sunday October 29, Emmanuel Macron announced on X (formerly Twitter) a bill to enshrine in the Constitution "the freedom of women to have recourse to abortion." The idea would be to have this freedom "irreversible". This objective is illusory.

No norm voted or promulgated by men will ever be "irreversible." Like all legal norms, constitutions can become obsolete. Since the Constitution of 1791, France has changed its Constitution nearly twenty times. The Constitution of the Fifth Republic has been amended by almost every President. Adding abortion would be the twenty-fifth constitutional modification since 1958. Foreign experience also testifies to the fragility of any constitutional norm. Yugoslavia's constitution, which included a "right to abortion", disappeared with socialism.

The so-called "freedom" of abortion will always remain "reversible" because it runs contrary to reality and experience. A freedom can be exercised, but not suffered. The majority of abortions are endured. Numerous studies demonstrate this fact are collected in the collective work "Law and Prevention of Abortion in Europe" (Sallux Publishing, 2017). According to the Guttmacher Institute, 75% of women who have had an abortion say they were forced into it by social or economic constraints. Other official statistics confirm this same reality in France: it is poverty and isolation that determine the decision to have an abortion.

In a report broadcasted in October on the KTO channel, sevreal women talked about their abortions. "Charlène", who had an abortion at the age of 26, was taken to Family Planning by her partner, and described how she was received. The Family Planning representative "went along with my partner at the time. When I told her about my baby, she said 'it's not a baby'. I told her I didn't want an abortion, and she replied, 'We'll make an appointment anyway with the anesthetist, and then with the gynecologist. I was never told about alternative solutions, financial aid or associations to help young mothers in difficulty. I feel like my consent has been extorted. I blame myself for not standing up for my baby."

This testimony on the "freedom to abort" is not the only one. Emmanuel Macron claims to have drawn inspiration from the work of the Family Planning organization for his constitutional bill. The aim is to "liberate" women in spite of themselves and against their will, by imposing abortion on them.

Op-Ed published in French in Valeurs Actuelles.

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