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Is France Leading the Fight for Women's Rights?

Updated: Mar 28

"MY body MY uterus MY choice" "(Hanger) Never Again"

55/85 North Scott students and staff support women’s rights to abortion, 15/85 do not support a woman's right to make choices for her body, 14/85 don’t side directly, and a few don’t quite grasp the concept of abortion.

When the idea of abortion being a constitutional right for women in the United States was brought to the attention of North Scott High School, a shocking amount of students admitted that they would be mild to extremely displeased with this change. They were asked how they would feel if this happened in our government, and the responses ranged from “I would know that our country has truly fallen apart” to “I would feel a bit more seen and heard as a female living in the U.S. I would feel more protected if something ever happened to me” Only one out of 84 responses pointed out how “SCOTUS ruled that it is a states rights issue.  So a federal law would be in effect unconstitutional.” However, that was a teacher, showing the lack of education on the subject of abortion in the North Scott School District. 

Alternatively, France has a different story. As of March 4th, 2024, each house of parliament—the National Assembly and the Senate—has already adopted a bill that would amend the French Constitution’s Article 34 to make sure that abortion becomes guaranteed for women. With an overwhelming 780-72 vote, the bill was approved, and the entire session gave a long-standing ovation upon approval. Before the vote, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal had spoken with all 925 lawmakers during this joint session to convince them to make France the worldwide leader in women’s rights, stating “we have a moral debt to women, we have a chance to change history” to the room.

“We are sending the message to all women: Your body belongs to you and no one has the right to control it in your stead,” Attal(Prime Minister Gabriel Attal)
"Abortion is a fundamental right"

Within the French public, abortion is widely supported with more than 80% shown to support women’s right to safe, medical abortions and many in favor of this right becoming constitutional. Unlike North Scott High School, where only 64% believe in this right and many are against women having the right to their bodies guaranteed. However, this is not the first time the constitution has been amended in France, the present constitution has been changed over 20 times since its creation in 1958 and the last time it was amended was in 2008. It has been stated that the biggest motivation for this change in France was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022.

“It’s not stating reproductive choices or the right to have children; it’s a very different language when you say access to abortion,” statement made by a professor of comparative constitutions and human rights law, Anna Sledzinska-Simon, “The French are calling it by its name — that’s crucial,” she says. In America today, after the Roe V Wade trial, abortion is protected by state law in 21 states.

Former President Donal Trump shares: "I feel that the justices that I am going to appoint -- and I've named 20 of them -- the justices that I'm going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent." Showing what his beliefs on abortion are, Trump is now strongly against women’s right to abortion. However, did you know that he once openly supported it? In 1999, Trump openly stated he was a supporter of abortion rights as a matter of women’s choice. An interview (linked to the image above) on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” includes Trump being asked whether he would ban abortions and/or “partial-birth” abortions, telling the interviewer that he is “pro-choice in every respect” Trump then said no, he would not. “I’m very pro-choice,” Trump said, “I hate the concept of abortion […] But still, I just believe in choice.” Ironically now, Trump uses his presidential campaign to voice against women’s rights to abortion, even stating that women who wish to have one should receive “some sort of punishment” showing his change from businessman to political leader.

Will the United States join the fight for women’s rights or stay conservative and leave the leading to the French?

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