veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

France just made abortion a constitutional right, and so should we

Let’s move forward with the rest of the world

On March 4, France became the first country in the world to enshrine the right to abortion in their constitution. French lawmakers approved the measure 780-72, which amended Article 34 of the French Constitution: “The law determines the conditions by which is exercised the freedom of women to have recourse to an abortion, which is guaranteed.”

This contrasts with the more recent developments in abortion bans across the United States. In June of 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the Constitution does not provide the right to an abortion, setting the groundwork for abortion bans across the country. Conservatives supported this decision on the basis that life begins at conception. 

As a result, 14 states have bans on abortion. Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia have total statewide abortion bans. 

This means that a woman who got an abortion, whether it be due to the the fact she was carrying her fathers child, the product of a raping or a simple choice, could face prosecution, along with her doctor. 

Alternatively, 14 states have kept abortion legal and have added legal protection to ensure this right. In other words, in 14 states women have the right to privacy, specifically in terms of their own body.

The initial right to abortion guaranteed to women in the United States was established in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. The precedent set was not solely that women had the right to abortion, but that all citizens have the ¨fundamental right to privacy,¨ as protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which extends the rights of the First, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments. 

For Oak Park High School senior Florence Wang, the news came on what should’ve been a happy day. 

¨Roe v. Wade was actually overturned on my 15th birthday,” Wang said. “Even though thankfully I knew California would protect the right to abortion, my heart went out to those women in other states that lost autonomy over their own bodies.¨. 

Like Wang, senior Lucy Lyle expressed concern for women who don’t have legal prolactin to obtain abortions. 

“I felt like being a woman was no longer protected. The feeling of my rights being torn away from me and so many women across the country crushed my faith for a change of this country,” Lyle said. 

With the Supreme Court ruling came questions about who should be the deciding factor in abortion. Is it left to the courts? The executive branch? Congress? Individual states? Everyone? 

“Even though I recognize that abortion is not ideal, I believe that the government shouldn’t be able to force anyone to use their own body to keep a fetus alive,” said Wang. “I also believe that it is the burden of the government to justify banning anything, and since I don’t believe banning abortion is justified, it should be a right of the people.”

Other women believe that it should be left to women solely. 

“I feel like the choices of a woman’s body should be decided by each woman themselves and represented by a powerful woman (not a man) in this country,” said Lyle.

When I heard the news of the decision on June 24, 2021, I’ll admit that I cried. The first emotion I remember having was one of fear. I was afraid of what it would mean for my future and the future of women across the country. I remember my mom telling me to delete my period tracker app, and to remove my period logs from Apple’s Health app. 

I believe that the decision of abortion should be left to the actual women who are faced with the choice. That is essentially what Pro Choice means. It isn’t a pro-abortion take, it’s a legal protection that allows women to have abortions if they find it necessary for their individual situation. 

The United States must join France in enshrining abortion into the constitution. Not only should the Supreme Court reverse the precedent set in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, but Congress should also introduce an amendment protecting a woman’s right to privacy and autonomy over her own body. Citizens should advocate for this protection and work towards calling their local lawmakers to make change. 

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Charlize Ocon, Business and Communications Manager

Class of 2024

Charlize has been part of the Talon staff for 4 years. She has previously served as the Social Media Manager and enjoys writing opinion pieces.

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