French vote for right to abortion in constitution
By Paul Kirby
France's National Assembly has backed a bid to enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution, prompted largely by increased restrictions elsewhere.
Lawmakers voted by a large majority to include a clause guaranteeing the effectiveness and equal access to the right to end pregnancy voluntarily.
Left-wing MP Mathilde Panot, who is behind the change, said it was to protect against the backsliding seen in the US and Poland.
But the bill will face a tough passage.
Last month the upper house, the Senate, rejected a similar proposal and is thought unlikely to back the new amendment. Right-wing parties - which dominate the Senate - argue that abortion rights are not under threat in France.
A change of constitution would also have to go to a referendum, although opinion polls suggest more than 80% of French voters are behind it.
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