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French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday took aim at the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, despite France having its own abortion limits that are tighter than the Mississippi law at the heart of the case.
“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected,” Macron tweeted. I wish to express my solidarity with the women whose liberties are being undermined by the Supreme Court of the United States.”
The high court ruled 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to uphold a Mississippi law that banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The Republican-led state of Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to strike down a lower court that halted the 15-week abortion ban.
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In the process, the court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood decisions that affirmed a constitutional right to an abortion.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Justice Samuel Alito said in his majority opinion. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
While Macron was among a number of international leaders to criticize the decision, France has a stricter abortion law than the Mississippi law that sought to impose a 15-week abortion ban.
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France limits most abortions to 14 weeks, which was only recently increased from 12 weeks in February. That makes it similar to other countries in Europe, although more restrictive than countries like England, where abortions are mostly limited to up to 24 weeks
Macron was far from an enthusiastic supporter of the change. The Guardian reported that he had told a French magazine that it was “more traumatizing” for women to have an abortion at a later date.
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American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marc Thiessen was one of a number of American commentators noting the alleged double standard.
“You do realize that France bans elective abortion at 12 weeks, three weeks earlier than the Mississippi law our Supreme Court upheld — and that France’s abortion restrictions would not be permitted under Roe,” Thiessen said.
British commentator Peter Hitchens also criticized Macron and objected to him weighing in on another country’s decisions:
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“President Macron attended a Jesuit school & knows there’s another view on the matter,” Hitchens tweeted. “He must also know that the Supreme Court has not *banned* abortion in the USA, but left its legality to elected state governments. Why does he pronounce on another country’s sovereign affairs?”