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France Champions Abortion Amid Falling Birth Rates

Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.

— 1 Peter 5:8

Last week, I shared with you some of the startling numbers showing that many affluent Western and Asian nations are facing a birth dearth that is likely to lead in some cases to a catastrophic population collapse, producing all manner of social and economic upheavals.

One of the nations that is facing such a future is France.

France recently announced that the number of births in the nation has dropped to the lowest level since World War II. In 2023, less than 700,000 births were recorded in the country, a drop of 20% since 2010, and a number that hadn’t been seen since 1944.

With an overall fertility rate of 1.68 children born per woman, France’s fertility rate is higher than many European countries, but far below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1. So significant is the recent drop in fertility, that French President Emmanuel Macron recently urged the country to prioritize what he called “demographic rearmament.”

Recognizing that the trend is toward continued reductions in fertility, the president expressed his commitment to increasing parental leave and combating infertility, which he called “the taboo of the century.”


France Approves Constitutional “Right” to Abortion

How astonishing, therefore, to read that this past week the French Parliament voted overwhelmingly to add a “right” to abortion to the nation’s Constitution—becoming the first nation in the world to take this radical step.

After French parliamentarians voted by a staggering 780-72 majority to commit the nation’s Constitution to protecting the murder of preborn human beings, lawmakers and observers leapt to their feet for a standing ovation.

It is difficult to watch the video of the vote without feeling sick to one’s stomach. Lawmakers and pro-abortion activists shed tears of joy after voting to utterly pervert the purpose of a political Constitution, proactively excluding the weakest and most vulnerable human beings from all protection in law.

President Macron, who had just weeks earlier been lamenting the country’s low birth rate, was nevertheless responsible for putting forward the Constitutional amendment, and urging parliamentarians to approve it. Macron celebrated and took personal credit for the vote, saying that it expressed “French pride” and sent a “universal message.”

“The Senate has taken a decisive step, which I applaud,” Macron said in a statement. “I pledged to make women’s freedom to have recourse to abortion irreversible by enshrining it in the Constitution.”


Bishops and Vatican Call for Protection of All Life

Prior to the vote, the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) put out an appeal, urging French lawmakers to vote against the horrific Constitutional amendment.

In its statement, the PAV noted that, “there can be no ‘right’ to suppress a human life.” The authors of the text urged all governments and people of all faiths to work so that “the protection of life becomes an absolute priority.”

The statement also noted that, “The protection of human life is the first goal of humanity and can only develop in a world free of conflict and divisions, with science, technology, and industry serving the human person and fraternity.”

The statement quoted Pope Francis, who said that opposing abortion is not something that should be the purview only of Christians. “[T]o defend life is not an ideology,” the Holy Father noted. “It is a reality; a human reality which involves all Christians, precisely because they are Christian and because they are human.”

After the vote, the French Bishops’ Conference put out a statement, calling for fasting and prayer.

“As Catholics, we must continue to serve life from conception to death,” the bishops wrote, “to be artisans of respect for every human being, which is always a gift given to all others, and to support those who choose to keep their child even in difficult circumstances.”

“Let us pray that our fellow citizens will rediscover the taste for life, for giving it, for receiving it, for accompanying it, for having and raising children,” the bishops concluded.

As Archbishop Olivier de Germay of Lyon put it in a statement after the vote, France put “the equal dignity of all human life — a principle with constitutional value — and freedom of access to abortion on the same level. How to explain such a contradiction?”


The Madness of the Culture of Death 

If President Macron wonders in future years why France’s birth rate continues to plummet, as it is likely to do, he need only look in the mirror to know the cause.

This is the madness of the culture of death. It devours itself and everything it encounters, and even in devouring itself and others it waxes eloquent with lofty language about how it is defending “rights” and promoting “freedom.”

I wrote a few weeks ago about a mom of two boys, who wrote about her experience in a “polyamorous” relationship in the New York Times. In her article she explained that she pursued sexual liaisons with many other men, in order to “find herself.” And yet, what amazed me is that the whole time it was clear that her experiences were dangerous, degrading, and left her feeling emptier, lonelier, and more miserable than before.

Such is the logic of the culture of death.


Blind Defense of the Enslaving Beast 

Young men lose themselves in the addictive, brutal fantasy-world of hardcore pornography, which debilitates their capacity to interact in a normal, healthy way with women, and to have any hope of settling down and having a happy marriage and family, but they will tell you hotly that this is a matter of “freedom of expression” and the “First Amendment.”

Elderly people who became seriously ill but find that their estranged children have no interest in visiting them or assisting them, and that a broken healthcare system is making it difficult for them to access treatments, will opt for assisted suicide or euthanasia so as “not to be a burden,” and yet will insist that they have done so out of a desire to pursue “self-determination.”

Women will deny themselves their natural inclination to welcome children early on in their marriages, and to stay at home during their children’s early years, to focus on a career that they find boring and unfulfilling, and will call it “living as a modern, emancipated woman.”

A nation is dying, and the president of that country expresses alarm that the nation is dying, and yet he nevertheless proposes and celebrates a measure that elevates one of the core evils that is causing births to plummet, as hundreds of thousands of innocent preborn lives are snuffed out every year, to the level of a “Constitutional right” which is necessary to protect “freedom.”

The culture of death is the manifestation of the logic of the Devil, who “is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.” Even as numerous nations discover, to their horror, that they are staring into a bleak, childless future, those nations seemingly cannot stop parroting the lies of the agents of the culture of death, who have convinced them that their slavery is freedom, that their sickness is health, and that death is life.

As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in Evangelium vitae, “To claim the right to abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin’ (Jn 8:34).”


Prayer, Fasting, and Action Needed 

It is good that the French bishops have called for fasting and prayer as reparation for this egregious vote. It is necessary for the French people to turn to spiritual tools to repair this spiritual horror, which has set a precedent that I fear that other nations will follow. It is necessary, too, for pro-life people to act, by doing everything in their power to oppose this vote, and to find creative ways to support life.

On the day of the recent parliamentary vote on the Constitutional amendment, over 2,000 pro-life people gathered in Versailles to protest.

“I think it is really important to witness that many French do not agree with the inscription of abortion in the Constitution,” Nicolas Tardy-Joubert, president of Marche pour la Vie (March for Life) said. “This [demonstration] is key to showing that there is an alternative mindset to public life in our country. … We should protect life, and we cannot add a guaranteed liberty in our constitution to kill somebody.”

If only that crowd of 2,000, had been a crowd of two million. Such is the gravity of the cause, that by all rights it should have been. Perhaps one day it will!

The United States has proved that it is possible to reverse an historic wrong. Indeed, the French Parliament voted to instantiate abortion as a constitutional “right” in part in reaction to the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. We must pray that the French people will one day find the same courage to reverse this historic wrong.


We Must Find Creative Ways to Affirm Life

In the meantime, they must find ways to change the hearts and minds of their fellow countrymen, and to creatively seek ways to save preborn lives, by offering women the truth and life-giving alternatives. As Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Paris lamented, “We guarantee the freedom not to carry a pregnancy to term. But what guarantees do we have that women will have the freedom to make another choice? What support will they have?”

The French people must demand that France provide resources to women, so that they can feel confident in bringing their children into the world. Even with abortion protected in the Constitution, it may be possible to make great strides in promoting life.

Please pray for the conversion of France and for the souls of those who voted, advocated for this violence against innocent nascent life and the dignity of women. They have declared what is intrinsically good, an evil, and further condemned the nation to a future of sterility. If only President Macron could see the stark interior contradiction in his recent words and embrace life instead of death!

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  1. Victress Jenkins on March 13, 2024 at 1:54 PM

    The Catholics in France need to help defeat this idea by having more children and not less.

  2. Suzanne on March 12, 2024 at 1:40 AM

    Its sad that a country blessed with so many great saints has turned against God’s Commandment:
    Thou shall not kill .

  3. Rose on March 11, 2024 at 1:48 PM

    We really aren’t forward thinking….

    Everything is based on now, with no regard for tradition or any thought for the future. I understand what women go through, and how difficult the decision may seem. And single women with children have a bigger mountain to climb than anyone else in society…40% living in poverty.

    What I appreciated in this article was how the culture of death seems to snowball and more lives are taken in the name of freedom. Justification of death as a merciful thing is twisted, a sign of a “not enough to go around” in a land of little. Dystopia can’t help but follow. The rich will take the cream from the top, the poor and disabled will be convinced they are ballastexistenz, a waste of resources that could be used on “people that really matter”, as Mel Baggs stated on her disability blog.

    My son thinks the biggest problems are climate change related. People are resourceful and may adapt under nature’s pressure in time. But killing the weak and defenseless is a more sorrowful future to me.

  4. Barbara Gordichuk on March 11, 2024 at 1:44 PM

    Thank you for standing up for the rights of the unborn. No one has the right to take the life of the baby in the womb. I’m sorry our society has deteriorated to such an extent. Euthanasia is another evil of our times. I pray that people will have a change of heart and choose life. Barbara Gordichuk.

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