At the head of the Parisian procession, Suzy Rojtman, member of the collective “Abortion in Europe – Women decide”, evokes a “shock wave”. She fears that given “the importance of the United States in the world”, the right to abortion is regressing “everywhere” and that “countries are inspired by the United States to deny this fundamental right”. In the midst of hundreds of demonstrators, a 16-year-old girl, Thaïs, holds up a sign “130 abortion centers have closed in 15 years” (in France, editor’s note). She worries about a “snowball effect”.
The United States Supreme Court on June 24 ended the federal legal guarantee of abortion in all 50 states. It is now up to them to decide on abortion. Half of them according to the Guttmacher Institute (especially in the South and the Republican, conservative and religious center) have already banned it or are considering doing so.
Hangers painted red at arm’s length, the demonstrators – including men and many very young women – marched singing “From New York to Paris, free and free abortion” or “The abortion, we s’ is beaten to win it, we will fight to keep it”.
Protect a fundamental right
“The abortion saves lives”, “Keep your laws off my body” (Take your laws off my body), “Leave the women alone for once”, could be read on the placards of the participants. Many were written in English. And also “We want abortion in the Constitution”, in reference to the bills to include this right in the French Constitution. Organized at the call of the collective “Abortion in Europe – Women decide”, joined by many feminist associations, unions and political parties, several demonstrations were planned across France.
In Bordeaux, the rally also numbered a few hundred people (400 according to the police, a thousand according to the organizers). “It’s not just the right to abortion but the right to freely dispose of our bodies. It is a fundamental right, which does not only concern France but women all over the world”, declares Johanna Tilché-Jean, “artist and mother”. For Nicole Blet, retired nurse and member of Family Planning in Gironde, “the law (in France, editor’s note) on abortion has always been fragile”, as has “its application”.
“Rights that we thought acquired” threatened
In Strasbourg, more than 300 people according to the prefecture took the direction of the American consulate. And in Toulouse, a few dozen people, especially women, gathered under the slogan “We are proud, women, radicals and angry! “.
“In France, we are not outside the world. You have to be careful, ”explains Sandra Cassagnaud, 49. French women “have more and more difficulty” in being taken care of for an abortion. “We are particularly mobilized on the question of the resources allocated to abortion centers, between the specific conscience clause that medical staff can bring into play and the overload of hospital professions”, notes in Lyon Léa Védie, one of the spokespersons of the Rhône family planning.
In the procession (500 people according to the prefecture, 800 according to the organizers), demonstrators placed hangers on the ground painted red, symbols of clandestine abortions. In Marseille, demonstrators joined the Pride March which brought together 12,000 people according to the prefecture. A regular at Pride, Philippe Murcia, 48, said he was “very worried to see a divided society, like in the United States, which is now attacking women’s rights, rights that we thought were acquired” .
letelegramme Fr Trans