The right to individual choice has become superior to the inalienable right to life


The presentation of a bill, filed on October 7, 2022, by Mathilde Panot, could be an opportunity to raise the debate on the validity of the “right” to abortion, as its inclusion in the French Constitution on October 29, 2023, by Emmanuel Macron, transforms it into a fundamental right. Emmanuel Macron, a convinced Europeanist and progressive, follows the predominant current of thought on most “societal” issues and has always advocated for the advancement of individual rights.

A right, from the medieval Latin “directum”, meaning “that which is just”, must govern human relations and be based on the defense of the individual and of justice. If it is fundamental, from the Latin “fundamentalis”, meaning “base”, the law serves as the foundation of a system, an institution. A fundamental right must therefore correspond to the “inalienable and sacred” rights cited in the first article of the preamble of the French Constitution of 27 October 1946, i.e. all the rights that each individual possesses by virtue of the fact that he belongs to humanity and not to the society in which he lives. The natural right, inherent to humanity, universal and unalterable, includes in particular the right to life and health.

Abortion, through its inclusion in the French Constitution, becomes a fundamental rule, a law that responds to the moral need for justice, at the very foundation of the structure of society.

Contradiction of rights

However, there is a contradiction between abortion, the act of taking the life of a human being by another human being, that is the moral prohibition of killing, because abortion is killing, and the man’s natural and inalienable right to life. Why then is there no debate in France, and why is Poland’s opposition to this “right” considered retrograde and medieval?

Since the 1970s, abortion has been considered the symbol of the “struggle for women’s emancipation,” implying the right to reproductive autonomy and free sexuality. This right is essentially individualistic; thanks to the “sovereignty of her body,” the woman is the only one who can decide.

The intention openly described in this bill is “to protect and guarantee the fundamental right to voluntary termination of pregnancy”, itself derived “from the general principle of freedom established in Article 2 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 […] to terminate a pregnancy”. As Françoise Laurant, president of the Commission on Health, Sexual and Reproductive Rights, pointed out in the newspaper Le Monde on 07 November 2013, calling abortion into question means “giving rise to a discourse that makes women feel guilty […] which can be experienced as a humiliation”….

Nevertheless, “my body, my choice” is a dishonest premise because the fetus is not a part of the woman’s body but is temporarily housed within it. The biological reality of pregnancy involves two bodies, two distinct and unique DNAs living in symbiosis for a determined period of time.

Dehumanization of the fetus

For a long time, feminist discourse has dehumanized the fetus by labeling it as a mere “clump of cells,” perhaps to assuage the guilt of women who undergo abortion… And this dehumanization has become normalized. Amnesty International considers abortion as “basic health care for millions of women or girls” which consists of “removing the contents of the uterus”.

It is good to examine this content and see that the fetus is biologically a human being, because it has all the specific and natural characteristics of Homo sapiens. At 16 weeks of amenorrhea, the duration of pregnancy since the last menstruation and the legal period of abortion, the fetus has the same organs as the rest of our species, a heart that beats at 140 beats per minute, a head that turns, agile little hands that grab, pull, push, play….

The fetus possesses all the specific characteristics of the human species according to its age, and being under 18 years of age can be defined, according to the criteria of the 1989 UNESCO Convention on the Rights of the Child, as a child… who has no rights whatsoever, unless the mother decides otherwise.

According to Article 6 of the 1989 Unesco Convention, “States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life”. The right to abortion is contrary to the right to life, which must be superior to all others, because without life there is neither freedom nor humanity.

The term abortion, from the Latin “abortare”, means “to die at birth”, but also that which could not reach its full development. Abortion eliminates “what is growing in the body”, the embryo or fetus, the “newborn”. Abortion cannot be “health care”, because the aim is not to cure, but to cause death, and this only to fulfill the will and desire of the woman, excluding in fact from this debate men and future fathers.

If France, like many other European states, defends the natural and sacred right to the life of children, how can it transform abortion into a constitutional right?

Normalization of abortion

Today, in most European countries, abortion has become normalized. There is only debated to increasingly extend the legal duration, from 10 to 14 weeks, from 14 to 16… or even for psychological, social, or economic reasons.

On November 26, 1974, in her speech to the National Assembly, Simone Veil proclaimed that “abortion must remain the exception, the last resort for dead-end situations”. Her conviction was that “no woman resorts to abortion with joy of heart” and that to admit “the possibility of terminating a pregnancy is to control it and, as far as possible, to dissuade the woman”.

Why, in 2024, do progressive societies ignore these convictions and turn the act of killing a human being into individual freedom and right? We should not ignore the exorbitant human cost of this right, with 44 million abortions worldwide in 2022, including 227,300 in France, 90,189 in Spain, and 63,653 in Italy. In this period where the demographic decline is starting to be worrying in Europe and the world, it would be time to open our eyes, to debate, and especially, as Christians, to testify to the Truth.

Emilie Vas
Business Manager of the Congregation of Holy Cross
General Curia

source OMNES