Demonstrators protest near the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP
While the right to abortion is more than threatened in the United States, voices are raised in France to protect this right. Three lawyers from Lyon co-sign a column to this effect, in the Journal du Dimanche.
Nearly 400 French lawyers call for “constitutionalizing the right to abortion” in a column published this Sunday, June 26 in the Sunday newspaper. Among them, three lawyers at the Lyon bar: Cécile Collard, Jean-Thomas Heintz and Florence Durand.
A threat to women’s rights
In this forum, lawyers react to the scandal that is shaking the United States. Indeed, on Friday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade of 1973, which had secured the right to abortion for 50 years. With this decision, the States will be able, independently of each other, to prohibit abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. This decision caused an outcry around the world. “The US Supreme Court’s decision reminds us that the long-fought rights of women are in jeopardy. This decision, a symbol of an unprecedented rollback of freedoms, puts the safety and health of American women at risk. It raises also the question of the guarantee of this right in France where nearly 230,000 women have recourse each year to abortion”say the lawyers.
Protecting the use of abortion
In France, the possibility of including the right to abortion in the Constitution to protect it is gaining ground. “In France, the right to abortion is protected by the law of January 17, 1975, which we owe to Simone Veil. The recent legislative elections remind us that the political balance is fragile, and that this law could one day be threatened. […]. Nothing is more urgent than to strengthen this right by enshrining it in the Constitution! This is why we, lawyers, call without further delay for the inclusion of the right to abortion in the French Constitution, to prevent anyone from hindering the right of women to dispose of their bodies.. And to remember that its ban has never prevented women from using it clandestinely. Risking their lives : “the prohibition and penalization of this right (note: in the United States) will lead to a dazzling number of clandestine abortions carried out in precarious, dangerous sanitary conditions unworthy of a democratic country”.
In Lyon, Florence Delaunay, rights and equality assistant, reacted on Friday in a tweet:
This is chilling news that reaches us today from the United States. The fight for the right of women to freely dispose of their bodies, the fight for our rights is a permanent fight. Let’s stay vigilant, let’s stay mobilized, let’s stay united across borders. ♀️ https://t.co/J328im25Hc
— Florence Delaunay (@FlorencDelaunay) June 24, 2022