On this International Safe Abortion Day, which comes at a time of crises and rising conservatism toward women’s rights, France strongly reaffirms its unwavering commitment to this inalienable right that is fundamental to women’s health, life and freedom, and to achieving full gender equality. The right to abortion must be upheld in all circumstances, including crisis and conflict situations, and in conditions that meet the need for safety, respect and dignity. Each year, the failure to respect this right results in thousands of deaths or serious complications for women’s health.
Through the Generation Equality Forum, which we co-hosted with Mexico in 2021, under the auspices of UN Women, France rallied the international community to provide concrete support for this fight, leading a coalition promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). On that occasion, we pledged €400 million euros to SRHR and women’s health over a five-year period. In 2021, we allocated €18 million for the purchase and distribution of contraceptives by the United Nations Population Fund. France also provides funding for a safe abortion center in West Africa and renewed its €50 million contribution to the French Muskoka Fund to help decrease maternal, newborn and child mortality, a crucial challenge for the African continent. In 2022, France will continue to honor its political and financial commitments and will introduce a new strategy focusing on these challenges that will guide all of our efforts abroad.
As the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs reiterated at the UN General Assembly on September 23 – the first anniversary of the Generation Equality Forum – French diplomacy is resolutely feminist, and we will continue to relentlessly defend women’s right to bodily autonomy and the recognition of abortion as a fundamental right, in order to protect it from any and all challenges. To that end, we champion the inclusion of the right to abortion in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.