These days reserved for minority groups in the Assembly have often turned into a headache for the government and the presidential camp, several times beaten because of their relative majority. This season, the RN deputies, who had made white cabbage last year, will open the ball on October 12 in the hemicycle.

And the group intends to open the session with a proposal particularly difficult to reject for its political opponents: to grant women with endometriosis a status of long-term illness (ALD) "exempt", "fully covered by health insurance".

It was "one of Marine Le Pen's central proposals" during the 2022 presidential election, insists Jean-Philippe Tanguy, deputy author of the text. But the proposal was also carried by LFI MP Clémentine Autain, who had a resolution adopted unanimously in the Assembly in January 2022.

And the left does not want to give the point to the RN. "The National Rally is in a strategy of trivialization," denounced Monday the leader of the ecologist deputies Cyrielle Chatelain, speaking on behalf of the left alliance Nupes.

"We will see how we react to this niche but in no case (...) there will be no common position between us and the National Rally," she insisted.

Lambasting a "crude operation" of the far-right party to "correct its image", Clementine Autain for her part called on the Minister of Health Aurélien Rousseau to take a decree that would ratify the provisions of his resolution, before the examination of the RN text.

"If this decree comes, so much the better," replies Jean-Philippe Tanguy. In the meantime, the prospect of having to position oneself on this text agitates the presidential camp in the Assembly.

"From my point of view, we can no longer be content to say: this is a RN text, we do not vote. We will victimize them (and) make them rise," said a Renaissance MP according to which her group is "divided".

"Complicated for the sick"

The issue was raised at a meeting of the group's bureau on Monday, with several avenues put forward, such as rewriting the text by amendments to adopt a different version, with other measures requested by the associations, or simply rejecting it. The group is due to address the issue at its weekly meeting next Tuesday.

"We are very happy to sometimes have the votes of the RN (...) We cannot indefinitely say that it only works in one direction," said another member of the majority.

The deputy and president of the ecologist group (EE-LV) at the National Assembly, Cyrielle Chatelain, on August 24, 2023 in Le Havre © LOU BENOIST / AFP/Archives

"I do not vote for any text of the RN. It's going to be a bit painful, but we've been solid in previous niches," said Renaissance MP Marc Ferracci.

"We are not sectarian (...) we will examine these texts responsibly," MoDem group president Jean-Paul Mattei said at a press conference.

"There are always political recuperations," said Priscilla Saracco, executive director of Endomind, a French association fighting endometriosis.

"ALD has a real positive impact," she insists, hoping for a reaction from the ministry. "It's complicated for patients to find themselves behind all this political jargon and understand why there is still no concrete progress."

In addition to endometriosis, the RN deputies aim to achieve success on a motion for a resolution to grant political asylum to Julian Assange, also requested by Stepes deputies, or on the abolition from 2024 of the Arenh, a mechanism that forces EDF to sell electricity at low prices to its competitors, requested by deputies of several sides.

A victory on any text would be an event, the Assembly having so far always rejected the RN's bills.

"Apart from a few courageous individuals, we can fear a new sectarianism that leaves us thinking," said Jean-Philippe Tanguy on Tuesday, believing that the most "important" was that it is "severely condemned by the French in all polls".


© 2023 AFP