The recent decision of the American Supreme Court to reconsider the right to abortion has revived the debate in France, in particular around its inclusion in the Constitution. This proposal, carried by both the left and the presidential majority, is the subject of a very broad consensus in French society. More than four out of five French people (81%) are in favor of it, according to the results of an Ifop poll for the Jean Jaurès Foundation published on Tuesday July 5 (1).
This massive consensus varies very little according to sex, age groups, level of diploma or religious affiliation and relationship to religion. Thus, according to the study, the inclusion of access to abortion in the Constitution meets with the approval of 84% of atheists but also of 79% of practicing Catholics.
More generally, 83% of French people are positive about the authorization of abortion by French law. Only 6% consider it a very bad thing. This membership rate varies little according to gender (81% of men against 85% of women), but it increases considerably with age: 71% of 18-24 year olds believe that it is a positive thing, i.e. more 20 points less than those aged 65 and over (92%).
A variable rate depending on the religion
On this question, the variable of religion also clearly plays a role. Thus, 70% of “believers and religious” believe that the right to abortion is a good thing, against 84% among atheists and 88% of people who consider themselves “believers but not religious”.
The rate of support also varies according to the vote in the presidential election: the electorate of Yannick Jadot appears to be the most attached to the right to abortion (95%), followed by that of Emmanuel Macron (93%) and by Marine Le Pen (88%). That of Éric Zemmour (75%) comes last.
Overall, this degree of support has increased over the past thirty years (+16 points since 1995). Similarly, while barely half of French people (48%) were in favor of allowing abortion without restriction in 1974, this position is now shared by nearly 8 out of 10 French people (78 %)
1% of French people totally opposed to abortion
However, there remains a significant proportion (17%) of French people who have reservations about abortion, the report points out. They are located mainly in the part of the population most imbued with a religious morality since 30% of people who call themselves religious are opposed to abortion, but also in the less well-off strata (the rate rises to 25% among the popular categories).
In detail, 13% of French people think that the right to abortion must be subject to certain circumstances, 3% that it must be authorized only in the event of a risk to the life of the mother and 1% is totally opposed to it in all cases.
French public opinion is thus one of the most favorable to the right to abortion, both in principle and in the conditions of its application, behind Sweden and the United Kingdom (2).