Podcast: abortion rights, living in a cemetery, Walt Disney's French connection

As France's parliament passes a bill that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution, a new film explores the time before it was legalised in 1975. The curator of Père Lachaise in Paris on life and biodiversity in France's most famous cemetery. And Walt Disney's 11th century French roots.

France might be on the way to becoming the first country to have abortion rights protected in the constitution, after a recent vote in the National Assembly passed with a large majority. Not everyone thinks it is necessary – legal scholar Gwenaele Calves says abortion rights are already well protected in France. Meanwhile a new film, Annie Colère (Angry Annie), tells the story of the MLAC (Movement for the freedom of abortion and contraception) whose work carrying out illegal abortions in the early 70s helped pave the way for the law legalising abortion in 1975. (Listen @0')

Three million people flock to Paris' Père Lachaise cemetery every year, drawn to the tombs of Frederic Chopin, Jim Morrison and other famous people buried there. But it's also home to an increasing amount of wildlife, including foxes. Laura Angela Bagnetto spoke with cemetery curator Benoît Gallot (@benoit_gallot), author of La vie secrète d’un cimetière (The secret life of a cemetery) about living in the famed graveyard and its rich biodiversity. (Listen @16')

Walt Disney was born on 5 December 1901 in the US, but his distant ancestors hailed from Normandy and gave him his name. (Listen @11'50'')

Episode mixed by Vincent Pora.

Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, iTunes (link here), Spotify (link here), Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
1 Dec 2022 English France News

Other recent episodes

Podcast: France revives hemp farming, New Romance, Paris's 1924 Olympics

France is reviving its industrial farming of hemp – 'green gold' – in the search for more sustainable, energy-saving building materials. French publishers are flocking to romance, as a new generation of authors are writing for a new and growing audience of young women readers. And when Paris hosted the…
4 Jul 33 min

Podcast: D-Day and its aftermath seen through French and American eyes

The United States played a key role in the Allied effort to liberate Western Europe from the Nazis, but not everyone sees it in the same light. As France marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, an American veteran reflects on the differing ways the US and France remember the war…
6 Jun 26 min

Podcast: Pro-Palestinian student protests, French euroscepticism, Channel Tunnel

How student protests in support of Palestinians at Paris's political science institute are different from those in the US, a look at France's growing disaffection with Europe, and the long birth of the Channel Tunnel linking France to Britain – 30 years old this week.  Student protests against Israel's war…
9 May 31 min

Podcast: War on youth, Ionesco in Paris, French women's right to vote

Why French youth are once again under fire as the government vows to crack down on violent crime. The staying power of Ionesco's The Bald Soprano in one of Paris's smallest theatres. And why French women won the right to vote so much later than many of their European neighbours…
25 Apr 33 min