In the wake of the recent US Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of abortion, French legislators are proposing a bill to enshrine abortion rights in French law. This proposal comes as a response to the Roe v. Wade decision, which some French political leaders have seen as a wake-up call about the importance of defending reproductive rights.
The new legislation would establish libre choix. or “free choice,” as a basic right for women in France. This right would guarantee that, regardless of where a woman lives or economic or social circumstances, she would have the legal right to choose whether or not to continue her pregnancy. Furthermore, it would mandate the French government to provide free, safe, and accessible services and information about reproductive health, including contraception and abortions. Finally, the bill would establish a mechanism for public funding of abortions in cases where a woman is unable to pay for them herself.
While the French government has long recognized the importance of abortion rights and services, the proposed legislation marks a major step-change in terms of policy and political support. French politicians have come out in strong opposition to the Roe v. Wade decision and this new bill is a clear way of showing their solidarity with the cause of reproductive rights and health concerns.
As the proposed legislation moves through the French government, its success will be a true indication of the ensures France places on giving women the right to choose and the lawmakers’ commitment to protecting their citizens’ reproductive autonomy.