Emmanuelle Ménard, deputy for Hérault: “The inclusion of abortion in the Constitution seems unnecessary and dangerous to me”

Emmanuelle Ménard, deputy for Hérault: “The inclusion of abortion in the Constitution seems unnecessary and dangerous to me”

La députée explicite les raisons de son refus de constitutionnaliser l'IVG. MICHAEL ESDOURRUBAILH – Midi Libre

After the constitutionalization of the voluntary termination of pregnancy this Monday, March 4, MP Emmanuelle Ménard returns to the reasons which motivated her vote of rejection. A "no" which does "absolutely not take this right into account", she wishes to clarify.

Emmanuelle Ménard, deputy for the 6th constituency of Hérault, returns to her vote on Monday, March 4, in Versailles, where Parliament, meeting in Congress, adopted a constitutional revision for include the right to abortion in the Constitution.

Why did you vote against the constitutionalization of abortion ?

As a preamble, and in order to avoid any caricature, I would like to say that I voted against the constitutionalization of abortion and not against it. I absolutely do not question this right. On the other hand, its inclusion in the Constitution seems unnecessary and dangerous to me.

Useless because abortion (voluntary termination of pregnancy) is not threatened in France. With 234,000 abortions in France in 2023, to say the opposite would be to lie. Moreover, all the modifications to the Veil law since 1975 go in the direction of broader and easier access: elimination of the notion of distress, deadlines extended twice, elimination of the deadline for reflection… And the fear of seeing  IVG called into question by invoking the example of the United States does not hold water. The Supreme Court has just given the power to the States to legislate on the matter, this cannot be transposed to France. We play at scaring each other.

But why would that be dangerous ?

Because it is the open door for the inclusion of new rights: contraception, euthanasia, sex change, assisted reproduction… However, the Constitution is the guarantor of our institutions and not a catalog of social or societal rights. It is also dangerous because it calls into question the double conscience clause of doctors. This conscience clause specific to abortion falls under the law when abortion is a freedom guaranteed by the Constitution, it may therefore be called into question. 

Dangerous again because some are already calling for the harmonization of deadlines with other European legislation, such as that of the United Kingdom or the Netherlands which authorize abortion up to 24 weeks. But 24 weeks is 5 and a half months, it is no longer an embryo or a fetus but a baby at the limit of viability.

You think that this inscription can trivialize the act ?

In any case, I don't think it will give women anything more. And I am embarrassed by these loud cries of victory. Abortion is not a trivial act. By celebrating it in this way, we hide all the distress of the women who have to confront it. Many of them have after-effects, whether psychological or physical, and experience real suffering.

The fact remains that access to abortion, even in Occitania, remains unequal, particularly in rural areas ?

Yes, it's logical but it's included in the more general problem of medical deserts. The urgency was not to constitutionalize abortion but to find ways to correctly inform women and young girls in particular, to put in place a real abortion prevention policy 39;abortion. Let's put school nurses in each middle school or high school to help and enlighten young girls, let's talk about contraception and sexuality, that will perhaps help bring the numbers down.

But the number of minors who resort to abortion has been on the decline for several years…

This does not take away from the fact that we must educate and inform and, as part of a prevention policy, avoid abortion as much as possible. Doing what you can does not mean prohibiting abortion. This is a subject that deserves a real debate but with which we must take a lot of precautions.

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