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20,000 attend March for Life in Paris

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.

Abortion is legal on demand in France up until the 14th week of pregnancy, whereas euthanasia and assisted suicide are currently illegal in the country.

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”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.