Today, International Safe Abortion Day, France strongly reaffirms its unwavering commitment to this inalienable right, which is essential for women’s health, lives and freedom, as well as for the full realization of gender equality. The right to abortion must be respected under all circumstances, including in crisis and conflict situations, and the procedure must take place under satisfactory conditions with regard to safety, respect, and dignity. Every year, the failure to respect this right leads to thousands of deaths and extremely serious health complications for women.
On March 8, 2023, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna launched France’s second International Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2023 – 2027). This strategy prioritizes access to safe abortions and the promotion of the necessary conditions for this fundamental right to be respected. The strategy dedicates concrete resources to achieving these collective goals.
On September 17, 2023, on the occasion of the UN General Assembly High-level Week, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna reiterated France’s commitments at meetings that she held on different forms of feminist diplomacy and the situation of Afghan women. In particular, the Minister stressed that France is supporting the purchase and distribution of contraceptive methods through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Organization for Safe Abortion Dialogue (ODAS) in West Africa. Minister Colonna also recalled France’s €50 million contribution to the French Muskoka Fund, in order to help reduce maternal, newborn, and infant mortality, a crucial priority for Africa. Together with Mexico and UN Women, France has mobilized the international community in an effort to provide concrete support in the fight for the right to abortion by leading a coalition promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights at the 2021 Generation Equality Forum in Paris.
France conducts resolutely feminist diplomacy sand will continue to tirelessly defend women’s right to have control over their bodies, as well as the recognition that the right to abortion is a fundamental right, in the face of attempts to challenge it.