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Monday, 4 March 2024, became a historic day for women’s rights as France became the first country in the world to enshrine the freedom of abortion in its constitution. It is the result of decades of struggle by organisations like Mouvement de Libération des Femmes, Family Planning, and so many others.

Although abortion has been legal in France since 1975, thanks to the mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of women, including the Manifeste des 343 and the Veil Law, there were still disparities in access to this right. Whether in the countryside or the city, there is a glaring difference in facilities available as well as financial means. That was one of the reasons why, in March 2022, the National Assembly extended the period of abortion to 14 weeks from 12 to enable the possibility for women to have more time. 

A risk that remains, which is why this right is never acquired, and we must fight every day to protect it, is the increasing influence of the far right. A concrete example came in 2022 in the United States with the overturning of the Roe VS Wade decision that protected the right to have an abortion.

Similar threats are also raising their ugly heads in Europe, with Poland restricting the right to abortion, putting women’s lives at risk despite brave campaigning by ordinary Polish women for the right to make choices over their own bodies. We must guarantee safe and legal abortion for all: too many women have died as a result of backstreet abortions.

In Italy, although it is decriminalised in the country, 70% of doctors still refuse to practise it by invoking the “conscientious objection”. 

This right must be guaranteed everywhere in the European Union. We join the call of La France Insoumise, through our Co-Chair, Manon Aubry, to enshrine this right in the charter of fundamental rights of the EU. A first step in this direction was taken with the adoption of the Rule of Law report in the European Parliament with the amendment: “believes that the right to safe and legal abortion should be anchored in the Charter of Fundamental Rights”. A great victory for all and for democracy in Europe. We will continue to fight so that all women have the right to choose freely and without constraint.

Stay tuned for the debate on march plenary and the vote on the resolution on April plenary.

My body, my choice.

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