France’s abortion rights vote sets potential ‘worldwide precedent’

French lawmakers voted to add abortion as a guaranteed freedom in France’s constitution. The vote makes France the first county in the world to include a right to an abortion in its constitution.

Landon Schnabel is an assistant professor of sociology at Cornell University. He focuses on gender inequality alongside other dimensions of social inequality, including sexual orientation and race. He argues that the success of this vote underscores the role of culture, religion and secular governance in the preservation and progress of individual freedoms.

Schnabel says: “France’s move to integrate abortion rights into its constitution marks a critical juncture in the global discussion on reproductive rights. This initiative, rooted in France’s secular values, showcases a commitment to prioritizing individual freedoms above the religious influences that complicate the U.S. debate on abortion, where Christian nationalism impacts constitutional interpretations.

“France’s initiative signals a proactive effort to secure reproductive rights, potentially setting a worldwide precedent. By constitutionally safeguarding these rights, France champions a clear, legal safeguard and positions itself as a trendsetter in the global discourse on reproductive autonomy.

“This step could motivate other nations, highlighting the significance of enshrining such freedoms in law and not leaving it up to judicial interpretation. However, the distinctive religious and political landscape in the U.S. suggests that adopting a similar approach would face considerable obstacles. France’s move underscores the role of culture, religion and secular governance in protecting and advancing individual rights, offering a model that, while influential, would need to navigate the complex interplay of religion and politics in different cultural contexts.”

For interviews contact Abby Shroba Kozlowski, cell: 607-229-2681,

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		Inside a legistative chamber, seats circling a central podium