According to Today Online:

PARIS — France is set to enshrine the right to abortion in its constitution Monday (Mar 4) at a rare parliamentary congress at the Palace of Versailles after the bill overcame its biggest legislative hurdle in the upper house Senate.

If the congress approves the move, France will become the only country in the world to clearly protect the right to terminate a pregnancy in its basic law.

Are there any other countries that are considering making abortion a constitutional right?

  • 1
    Are you only interested in countries? Some US states have considered this: Kansas seems to have some sort of provision.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 1 at 16:53
  • The USA did use that terminology for 49.4 years, but that was a Supreme Court decision (and an extremely controversial one), never an actual constitutional amendment.
    – dan04
    Mar 1 at 21:41
  • 3
    @dan04 The Alabama IVF decision makes me cynical that a constitutional amendment could even be a surefire solution. SCOTUS could potentially decide that the words of the amendment don't really mean what the authors intended.
    – Barmar
    Mar 1 at 22:40
  • @Barmar: SCOAlabama is not SCOTUS. They are a far more conservative court, and I doubt SCOTUS has more than two or three votes in favor of such an extreme position (Thomas, Alito, and supposedly Barrett).
    – Kevin
    Mar 2 at 4:40
  • 1
    @Kevin I wouldn't put anything past a court that overturned Roe and agreed to take up Trump's immunity claim. But I also wasn't really talking about the current composition, just thinking hypothetically.
    – Barmar
    Mar 2 at 17:38

2 Answers 2


France is not the first country to make abortion a constitutional right!

In the United States, abortion was a constitutional right from 1973 to 2022. This was not based on an explicit provision in the constitution, but on a judicial interpretation by the US Supreme Court, which that court later reversed. So even though it was a constitutional right, it was fragile, due to not being an explicit provision (and not one created by intent).

In Yugoslavia, article 191 of the 1974 constitution states (official translation by a Yugoslav government organization):

It is a human right freely to decide on family planning. This right may only be restricted for reasons of health.

This created a constitutional right to abortion. (“Family planning” combined with “reasons of health” could be interpreted as allowing contraception but not abortion, but as far as I can tell with no prior familiarity with Yugoslav law, it did mean that abortion had to be legal on request at least up to a reasonable number of weeks of gestation.) Not all successor countries have maintained this right in their constitution. Article 27 of the Serbian constitution has the same provision. Article 55 of the Slovenian constitution states that

Everyone shall be free to decide whether to bear children. The state shall guarantee the opportunities for exercising this freedom and shall create such conditions as will enable parents to decide to bear children.

Article 41 of the Macedonian constitution states that

It is a human right freely to decide on the procreation of children. The Republic conducts a humane population policy in order to provide balanced economic and social development.

Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo do not have a similar provision that I could find. Abortion is legal in all of them, but by law rather than stemming from the constitution.

I have not seen any mention of other countries in the press coverage of France's constitutional revision.


Ireland? While the recent changes to the Constitution of Ireland didn't explicitly grant a right to an abortion, it did remove an existing prohibition allowing legislation to be debated and passed.

The Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland (previously bill no. 29 of 2018) is an amendment to the Constitution of Ireland which permits the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion. The constitution had previously prohibited abortion unless there was a serious risk to the life of the mother.

  • 4
    This constitutional change aligned Ireland with most European countries, by making abortion rights entirely up to the law rather than restricted by the constitution. That's not at all the same as making it impossible for the law to forbid abortion, which, as far as I can tell, was as of 2023 the case only in Serbia, Slovenia and North Macedonia. Mar 5 at 12:13

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