The European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) is trying to enshrine abortion rights in the European Union (EU) through the back door.
As was very aptly noted by the European Institute of Bioethics (IEB), FEMM, in the twists and turns of a “draft report on the situation concerning reproductive and sexual health and rights in the Union, in the framework of women's health,” surreptitiously introduced a “right to abortion.” This project was adopted on May 11 by the committee.
Such a right is foreign to the legislation of both the member countries of the Union and the European community. It is also not internationally recognized, as recalled by the “Geneva Consensus” signed by 33 countries on Thursday, October 22, 2020.
The mechanism used is as follows. The draft resolution deals with “reproductive and sexual rights.” It calls on member states to guarantee access for citizens, and in particular women, to “services providing safe and legal abortions.”
Abortion thus automatically falls within the area of “women's rights.”
The IEB notes three contradictions, from a legal point of view, between this draft resolution and European law:
First, due to the fact that abortion is considered an integral part of women's health. This exceeds the competences of the EU, because public health remains a prerogative of each state of the Union. Secondly, because it is no longer up to the EU to include abortion in health care.
Then, and in a decisive manner: integrating abortion into “women's rights” does not contradict the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, for which abortion cannot be linked as such to a fundamental right, if this is in reference to the European Convention on Human Rights.
Finally, and scandalously, the project interprets the right to conscientious objection as not allowing “healthcare professionals to choose not to provide the products and services to which they are morally opposed, including abortion or prescription, sale and advice on contraceptive methods.
This interpretation conflicts with the way in which this right is considered by European law, in particular Article 10.2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
This fraudulent and cautious attempt to introduce a “right to abortion” and to deny conscientious objection is troubling. Unfortunately, this one is gaining ground. This is all the more reason to oppose it in every way, as long as possible.