“French pride, universal message”. Here are the words of President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron after senators and deputies voted in Congress to constitutionalize the “guaranteed freedom to resort to abortion” on Monday March 4, with 780 votes for and 72 against. The day after this “historic vote”, the international press widely welcomed this constitutional revision.

“Macron’s strong signal to women around the world,” headlines the German daily Die Welt in its “Opinion” column. “France is the first state in the world to include in its Constitution a “guaranteed freedom” to terminate unwanted pregnancies,” it reads. The president “shows a determination that Germany could draw inspiration from,” continues the media.

In Germany, abortion is in fact criminally prohibited, except in a few cases specified by law: if the voluntary termination of pregnancy occurs “less than twelve weeks after conception” and if the pregnant woman has consulted a health center. advice, in the event of rape or even a threat to the mother’s life. “Germany, where the right to abortion still does not exist, should feel challenged,” insists the across-the-Rhine newspaper.

Who also wishes to recall the origin of this constitutional reform: “President Macron is reacting to contrary trends in the United States”, we can read. More broadly, all the media reporting this constitutional revision have underlined its genesis. Notably the American daily New York Times which affirmed that the “legislators’ vote” came after the repeal, in June 2022, of the constitutional right to abortion by the American Supreme Court. In France, “supporters of the measure were galvanized by the decision of the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In Spain, the newspapers also welcome this “historic” vote and even see it as a “message from France to the world”, as we can read in the Opinion column of El País. “France is taking the lead in the global defense of the freedom to abort by enshrining it in its Constitution,” even says the Spanish daily. In another article, he describes “a solemn and moving ceremony, in the august setting of the hemicycle of the south wing of the Palace of Versailles, symbol of the absolute power of Louis XIV, the Sun King, and of the greatness , French greatness.

Many newspapers have also returned to the content of the speeches which took place between legislators. After mentioning the “thunderous applause” and the “sumptuous conference room in the Midi wing of the palace,” the English newspaper The Guardian reported on Prime Minister Gabriel Attal’s speeches: “We are haunted by suffering and the memory of so many women who were not free. We have a moral debt [towards all the women who] have suffered in their flesh.” The overseas daily also reported the words of rebellious MP Mathilde Panot who spoke of “a promise for all the women who fight everywhere in the world”.

If Italian journalists from the daily Corriere della Serra in turn spoke of “a promise for women around the world”, they nevertheless wanted to underline the Church’s opposition to this constitutionalization. Giving the floor, in an interview, to Archbishop Monsignor Paglia who declared: “The reasons for life are forgotten. Turning it off remains a mistake.” The newspaper La Repubblica also recalled the position of the Catholic Church regarding this vote presented by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal as a milestone in “the march of progress”: “Abortion in the Constitution, a historic vote in France. But which collides with the Vatican,” headlined the Italian daily.

The reform was finally commented on in South America, in particular by the Argentine media Clarín which highlighted the wink of the rebellious MP Mathilde Panot, at the origin of this constitutional reform, to Argentine women. The latter in fact wore green to salute the fight of the “green tides”, the name of the movement of these Argentine women who fought for several decades to obtain the legalization of abortion. The media also reported the arguments used by the French left, one of which concerns it directly: “The American Donald Trump, the Argentinian Javier Milei, the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro and the Hungarian Viktor Orban are some of the leaders or former leaders which the left opposition cited as an example of this threat.

Some ultimately wanted to point out a possible calculation by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, who, by passing this text, reassured the left wing of his electorate. “By supporting a hugely popular proposal months before the elections, Macron gave conservative and far-right leaders a headache while soliciting support from the left,” Politico Europe says. Similar analysis in Switzerland, in the daily Le Temps, which commented on a vote that was “very practical for the presidential camp”. This would in fact allow him to “point out the threats of the National Rally coming to power, which is particularly embarrassed on this subject”.