France moves closer to becoming first country to enshrine abortion as constitutional right

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France moves closer to becoming first country to enshrine abortion as constitutional right

France moved a step closer to becoming the first country in the world to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right after lawmakers approved a resolution in the lower house to give access to the right to end a pregnancy In a rare cross-party move, members of parliament from the left's La France Insoumise party and Emmanuel Macron s centrist coalition agreed on the wording of a new clause that could be added to the constitution. The law guarantees equal access to the right to end a pregnancy. In the 557 member national assembly, 337 lawmakers voted for and 32 against, while 18 abstaining.

It s a big step but it is just the beginning, said Sacha Houli from Macron's Renaissance party. The resolution must now be voted on by the Senate, the upper house, which has a majority on the right, and voted down a first proposal last month.

The National Rally, the biggest opposition party in parliament, called the move totally misplaced earlier this week, arguing that abortion rights were not under threat in France. She missed the vote on Thursday for medical reasons, a spokesman said.

An Ifop poll for the Fondation Jean-Jaur s thinktank this summer found that 81% of people from across the French political spectrum wanted abortion rights to be better protected under the constitution.