CV NEWS FEED // The Catholic Conference of Bishops in France issued a sharp rebuke to French president Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday after he said recently that abortion would become a “right” in the French Constitution by next year.
Macron announced on X at the end of October that a “draft constitutional law” solidifying abortion access as a constitutional right would be “sent to the Council of State this week and presented to the Council of Ministers by the end of the year.”
In a statement, the Catholic Conference of Bishops in France condemned the bill, declaring: “all life is a gift for this world, a fragile and precious gift, infinitely worthy, to be welcomed and served from its beginning to its natural end.”
The bishops pointed out that “in 2022 there were 723,000 births in France and more than 234,000 abortions.” This “dramatic reality,” they continued, “should be seen above all as a sign of [society’s] failure.”
The biblical commandment “You shall not kill” inscribed in all consciences, beyond those of believers alone, means that every human being is entrusted to the care of all others. We must not weaken the strength of such a benchmark. These unborn children, we are in a way all responsible for them.
The bishops advocated for the elevation of women’s rights such as equal pay, protection against violence, and social recognition—all of which they described as “highly desirable progressions in our society.”
However, the bishops asserted that “inscribing [abortion] among [such] fundamental rights would damage [their] entire balance.”
According to Le Monde, Macron has previously said he would amend the French Constitution “to enshrine women’s freedom to have recourse to voluntary interruption of pregnancy.”
The real progress lies in the mobilisation of all, believers and non-believers, so that the reception of life is more helped and supported. The real urgency is to help at least couples or women who do not really have a choice today because of social, economic, and family constraints that weigh on them, especially single women.
Changes to the French constitution require either a referendum or three-fifths approval among the members of both chambers of parliament.