As a group of politicians in France attempt to make abortion part of the constitution and seek to introduce a law allowing euthanasia, Paris’ annual March for Life has responded with a resounding ‘non’.
Held every year on the third Sunday of January to commemorate the enactment of a 1975 law that made abortion legal in France, the March for Life took to the streets of Paris again last weekend. This year, the organisers were especially focused on plans by certain members of the government to make assisted suicide and euthanasia legal in France.
Objecting to the push for euthanasia and assisted suicide, president of the March for Life, Nicolas Tardy-Joubert, said “the prohibition of killing must remain fundamental”.
Tardy-Joubert pointed out that out of 96 departments (administrative regions) in the country, a large number do not have palliative care units.
“While 26 French departments are lacking palliative care units, we believe that the political priority must be brought there”, he added.
20,000 march for life
In addition to opposing assisted suicide and euthanasia, the March was focused on opposing efforts to enshrine the right to abortion in the French constitution. The National Assembly voted on the matter in November but it will be considered before the Senate next week. In October, members of the Senate voted against the proposal.
While some pro-life campaigners are concerned that media pressure may cause senators to change their minds, as many as 20,000 pro-lifers attended the March showing their support for life from conception to natural death.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Hopefully French politicians have learned from the tragic consequences of their neighbour, Belgium, making euthanasia legal in 2002. Since then, Belgium has changed the law to permit child euthanasia and official reporting shows that euthanasia accounts for as many as 2.4% of all deaths in the country, although one expert believes underreporting means the true figure is more like 3.5%”.
“Furthermore, there is no moral or legal right to abortion. Any amendment to the French constitution ought instead to seek to protect the lives of the unborn”.