Brussels, 13th March 2024

Last week, France became the only country today to enshrine the “fundamental liberty” to an abortion. This week, President Macron announced a process to legalise euthanasia.

The wording for the constitutional inclusion on abortion was proposed in 2022, in response to the Roe vs Wade repeal by the United States Supreme Court. Reacting both to US politics as well as to shore up support nationally, Macron moved to guarantee abortions through the constitution.

The political efforts are not limited to the borders of France. On Thursday 14th March, the European Parliament will debate the Inclusion of the right to abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. 

Vincenzo Bassi, President of FAFCE, says: “The reality remains that there is no right to take a life. Let’s be clear, this proposal to make France the only country where abortion is a constitutional right is motivated both by Macron’s need for national political support, as well as a reaction to the US Supreme Court decision, since the proposal was originally made soon after the overturning of Roe v Wade.

In Europe, the principle of subsidiarity is crucial – sovereign nation-states should be able to legislate on matters of national policy. However, the claim being made by pro-abortion legislators in France is that abortion is a human right. No such thing exists – this is established by the European Court of Human Rights. With the polarization of populism in Europe, we must not be surprised if similar changes are attempted in other countries on the continent. This is obviously a danger to the unborn, but it also is a threat to the right to dissent. The unborn need to be protected, as well as the freedoms of those who disagree with this political move. We must fight on two fronts then: the right to life and freedom of speech.

Abortion is a consequence of this epoch of loneliness and individualism, where people feel isolated from communities and children are seen as a burden. We are in favour of life and we are in favour of choice too – the choice for women to have children and for communities to grow through new lives. A genuine pro-women politics would support mothers in these times of crises. We can only meet today’s huge challenges with a drive towards human dignity and life, not the culture of death and waste that Pope Francis also repeatedly warns against. Families and communities must be at the centre of this drive since they are the foundation stone of society.

Instead of narratives that divide women from children, we support the campaign of our member associations like CNAFC. Families are not a cost to society, but rather an investment. In these times of isolation, families bring intergenerational solidarity. In times of depression, families bring compassion. In times of darkness, families bring hope.”

FAFCE member in France, the CNAFC, released the following statement: “On Monday March 4, the French Congress in Versailles voted to enshrine ‘the guaranteed freedom of women to have recourse to voluntary interruption of pregnancy’ in the French Constitution. Celebrated as an historic victory, with a strong majority of 780 parliamentarians out of 902 voting, scenes of jubilation among congress participants, and the Eiffel Tower set to glittering mode and displaying ‘mon corps, mon choix’ (my body, my choice), this text was only defeated by the votes of 72 parliamentarians.  The AFC salutes the courage of these 72 deputies and senators who maintained their opposition to this constitutionalizing despite the pressure.

On May 24th 2023, the President of the Republic compared the ongoing violence in society to a ‘process of decivilization’.  This process doesn’t just take place in the streets. It also occurs in unjust laws, a fortiori when they are enshrined in the Constitution. The enslavement of society is not only the result of individual behavior, since the fundamental law of society now scorns the dignity of the person and of human life. This ‘great victory’ is merely a sign of the powerlessness of the executive branch, which has fought an imaginary enemy and is making a mockery of itself by claiming to be writing history, while violating the rights of those who are ‘voiceless’ and refusing to look at women in distress who are waiting to be helped and supported.

France believes itself to be the ‘beacon of humanity’, as the Prime Minister put it, while it participates in the globalization of indifference towards families and women in difficulty, by ignoring their requests for psychological, material or financial help. The fate of the most vulnerable, ‘whatever it takes’, should not be subjected to political or emotional manipulation, but considered with gravity and attention, in order to deploy policies worthy of the ‘fraternity’ enshrined in our Republican motto.”

NB: Parts of these comments were first published in an article by America Magazine.