PARIS (AP) – Lawmakers in France’s lower house of parliament have adopted a bill that would enshrine abortion rights in the country’s constitution.

It is the first step in a lengthy and uncertain legislative battle prompted by the rollback of abortion rights in the United States.

After the measure was approved Thursday by the National Assembly it now needs a majority in the upper house, the Senate, and then in a nationwide referendum.

Abortion in France was decriminalized under a key 1975 law, but there is nothing in the constitution that would guarantee abortion rights.

The proposal is the work of a left-wing coalition.

However, the justice minister says the centrist government also supports the proposal.