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France is the 1st country to give Constitutional Right to an Abortion

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 07-03-2024
France is the 1st country to give Constitutional Right to an Abortion law and act 4 min read

France made history by becoming the first country to guarantee a woman's right to an abortion in its constitution. The amendment was passed by lawmakers from both houses of parliament in an overwhelming 780-72 vote, and was met with a standing ovation. 

This move came after growing concerns in France that abortion rights would be rolled back, following the U.S. decision to overturn Roe v. Wade two years ago. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to protect women's right to abortion in France.

The amendment to Article 34 of the constitution ensures that women in France have the freedom to choose to have an abortion.

Definition of abortion

Abortion is a procedure to terminate a pregnancy. This can be done in two different ways: Medication abortion, in which medications are used to end the pregnancy. This is sometimes called "medical abortion" or "pill abortion". Procedural abortion, a procedure to remove a pregnancy from the uterus.

Article 21 right to abortion

Although the Indian Constitution does not explicitly state the right to abortion, the judiciary has interpreted that certain fundamental rights are associated with reproductive rights and women's healthcare. Article 21 ensures the right to life and personal liberty.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 1971

Advances in medical science regarding safe abortion led to the passing of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 ("MTP Act").

Amendment to MTP

The 2021 Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act allows women to terminate their pregnancy up to 20 weeks with a doctor's opinion.

Certain categories of vulnerable women, such as rape victims, minors and mentally challenged women, can obtain abortion up to 24 weeks under the law.

Abortion is permitted after 24 weeks only in cases where there is a serious threat to a woman's life or well-being or there are substantial abnormalities in the fetus. In such situations, medical boards are established by the courts to assist in decision making.

Terms of termination of pregnancy

For termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation, the opinion of a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP) is required.

Opinion of two RMPs is required for pregnancies between 20-24 weeks of gestation.

In cases where there are substantial abnormalities in the fetus and there is a need to terminate the pregnancy after 24 weeks, the opinion of a state-level medical board is necessary


Answer: France

Answer: 1971

Answer: Upto 24 weeks
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