France has put the right to abortion in its constitution, becoming the first nation to do so. The amendment referring to abortion as a “guaranteed freedom” passed by an overwhelming majority – 780 in favor and 72 against. Here’s the coverage from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CBS News.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal addressed the French legislators: “We’re sending a message to all women: Your body belongs to you, and no one can decide for you.” The Washington Post noted, “Thousands of Parisians gathered to watch the proceedings live on a giant television screen at Le Parvis des Droits de l’Homme – or Human Rights Square – in central Paris, with the Eiffel Tower looming dramatically over the scene. When the amendment passed, the crowd erupted in celebration, and the tower lit up with twinkling lights. Mothers and daughters embraced. People cheered and waved French flags. The square immediately transformed into a massive street party, with revelers singing the lyrics from a Beyonce song, ‘who run the world, girls.’ Laurence Beldowski, 53, turned to her daughter, Eugenie, 23, and hugged her tight.”

The amendment by itself does not immediately change any laws. Wikipedia notes that abortion is legal in France for any reason up to 16 weeks after the last menstrual period, and at any time thereafter provided that two physicians agree that “the abortion will be done to prevent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman; a risk to the life of the pregnant woman; or that the child will suffer from a particularly severe illness recognized as incurable.” Note also that “Since 1982, much of the costs of abortions are taken in charge by the French social security system which allows women in France to access abortion free of charge. France was the first country to legalize the use of Mifepristone as an abortifacient in 1988.”