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Protest for abortion rights outside US Embassy

Protest for abortion rights outside US Embassy

2 min. 28.06.2022
Demonstrators expressed anger at the repealing of Roe vs Wade and urged Luxembourg to enshrine access to abortion in its constitution
Protesters outside the US embassy in Luxembourg on Tuesday
Protesters outside the US embassy in Luxembourg on Tuesday
Photo credit: Anouk Antony

By Cliona Hickey and Thomas Berthol

Protests were held outside the American embassy in Luxembourg on Tuesday in opposition to the US Supreme Court's decision to repeal the landmark Roe vs. Wade judgement, with campaigners calling for the Grand Duchy to enshrine abortion rights in its constitution. 

A deeply divided US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling in a decision issued on Friday, removing the right to abortion in a historic judgment likely to render the procedure largely illegal in half the country.  

A sit-in demonstration in response to that ruling was organised outside the US Embassy on Tuesday by Family Planning Luxembourg and the JIF Luxembourg (International Women's Day Luxembourg) group.

"It is an important demand, because recent events, for example in Poland and the United States, show... that this kind of right must be enshrined in the Constitution so that it becomes an effective right and can no longer be revoked,” said Ainhoa ​​Achtutegui, the president of the Family Planning group.

At present, there is a limit on abortions beyond 12 weeks in the Grand Duchy, which Family Planning Luxembourg wants to see extended until 14 weeks - regardless of whether the woman is insured by the National Health Fund (CNS) - and for the change to be cemented into the Luxembourgish constitution.

The group is also calling for the removal of the current three-day limit between a woman initially seeking advice and being permitted to secure an appointment for an abortion. 

Opposition CSV deputy Martine Hansen said that she believes lawmakers should wait to debate the issue until the current constitutional reforms are agreed and completed. "Now is not the time to open this Pandora's box, otherwise we will not yet have a new Constitution before the next legislative elections in October 2023,” she said. 

Government minister Lex Delles, the new president of the Democratic Party, also echoed Hansen's stance, calling for a text enshrining the right to abortion to be added once the new constitution has been agreed.

It comes as Luxembourg's parliament adopted a motion on Tuesday expressing support for protecting abortion rights in law. A vast majority of deputies backed the motion, by 56 votes to 4, with only the ADR party voting against.

More than 500 women who contacted Family Planning in Luxembourg last year seeking help went on to have an abortion, the group said.

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