Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: MICHEL STOUPAK / NURPHOTO / NURPHOTO VIA AFP 10:23 p.m., February 28, 2024

The inclusion of abortion in the Constitution passed its most delicate stage in Parliament on Wednesday with the largely favorable vote of the Senate, removing the last doubts surrounding the final adoption of this historic reform during a Congress in Versailles convened from Monday.

A victory for feminist activists.

“We did it, we succeeded!”

: feminist activists shout their joy Wednesday evening in the Senate after the vote in favor of including abortion in the Constitution, far from the hushed image usually associated with the upper house.

As soon as the result was announced by Gérard Larcher, there was first a clamor then hugs among the community activists on the stairs of the Palais du Luxembourg.

“Did you cry too?” said one of them.

“It was difficult not to let my joy explode,” confides Floriane Volt, of the Women’s Foundation, as she leaves the gallery reserved for visitors.

“We witnessed a historic vote. The Senate was able to hear the call of the French,” she rejoices.

Around twenty activists from the Foundation are present in the bays.

“Interns”, “civic services” or simple sympathizers, smiles one of them.

All feared the Senate vote, the most difficult step before Parliament meets Monday in Congress to enshrine the freedom to abort for good in the Constitution.

Several figures in the Senate, right-wingers like Gérard Larcher or Bruno Retailleau, had expressed their reluctance.

Confident before Versailles

But in the conference room with its thick red carpets, it's time for selfies, fists raised in victory.

“It’s a magnificent message that we are sending to the whole world at a time when the reactionaries are gaining ground,” confides environmentalist senator Mélanie Vogel, after having also let out a few tears and followed the hugs.

The result of the vote, 267 votes to 50, is “beyond our expectations”.

In France, "we have won the cultural battle on this subject, it has become increasingly difficult for elected officials to vote to unravel the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy", judges the ecologist, white suit and sneakers.


 Inclusion of abortion in the Constitution: semantic battle in a divided Senate

“It’s even surprising to see such an overwhelming victory, it’s an indication of the evolution of society and ideas in favor of protecting women’s rights,” adds Gabriela Belaid of Ensemble contre le sexisme, a collective of associations.

New cheers and hugs, this time around the socialist Laurence Rossignol.

“It’s a victory for all French people. The polls were a strong argument” in the face of the reservations of the right, says the senator from Val-de-Marne.

In his eyes, despite some skirmishes with the extreme right, the "debates were well held" in relation to the passions unleashed by the Veil law in 1975. "Our country has still progressed a lot", underlines -she.

Alice, a feminist activist, found the session “very impressive”.

“There was real stress,” she says.

Meanwhile, other activists were outside demonstrating in favor of the bill.

The appointment is made on Monday.

“Serene” and “confident” before the Congress vote in Versailles, these feminists intend to make themselves heard there, and celebrate a “historic day”.