· Vatican City ·

Pontifical Academy for Life on French abortion bill

There cannot be a ‘right’ to taking a human life

08 March 2024

The Pontifical Academy for Life (pal) has expressed its support to the French Church’s firm opposition against a constitutional amendment that made France the first country to enshrine abortion as a constitutional right. Presented by President Emmanuel Macron’s government, the bill had already been approved by both the National Assembly and the Senate, and was passed following voting in a joint session of Parliament on Monday, 4 March.

In a statement issued on the day of the passing of the bill, pal echoed the position of the French Bishops’ Conference which stated that abortion remains an attack on life and cannot be seen solely from the perspective of women’s rights. The Pontifical Academy expressed regret that the general debate did not include measures to support women who wanted to keep their baby and called on all governments and religious traditions to do their best to ensure that the protection of life may become an absolute priority. Specific life situations and difficult and dramatic contexts, the statement continued, should be faced with the tools of a legal civilization that addresses the protection of the weakest and most vulnerable first and foremost, because the protection of human life is the first goal of humanity.

Citing Pope Francis, pal highlighted that for the Catholic Church, defending life is not an ideology but rather “a reality; a human reality which involves all Christians, precisely because they are Christian and because they are human” (...) it is a case of taking action on the cultural and educational level in order to transmit to future generations, the attitude of solidarity, care and welcome, in the full knowledge that the culture of life is not the exclusive heritage of Christians, but rather belongs to all those who, working to build fraternal relationships, recognize the value of each person, even when they are fragile and suffering” (General Audience, 25 March 2020).