EU: A Resolution to Include Abortion in the European Charter

Source: FSSPX News

On Wednesday April 11, 2024, MEPs adopted, with 336 votes for, 163 against, and 39 abstentions, a resolution calling for the inclusion of abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which sets out the “rights, freedoms and principles recognized” in the member states.

The resolution, promoted by the Liberal Democrats (Renew), the Social Democrats (S&D) and the left, states that “controlling their reproductive lives and deciding whether, when and how to have children is essential to the full realization of human rights for women, young girls, and all those who can become pregnant.”

The promoters justified their position by UN documents which call for maintaining the “individual decision to resort to voluntary termination of pregnancy.” The motion also cites France's decision to include abortion in the Constitution as an example to follow, arguing for the “need for a European response to the decline in equality between men and women.”

Threat to Pro-Life groups

MEPs are also concerned about “the increase in funding for anti-gender equality and anti-abortion groups” around the world and in the EU. They call on the Commission to ensure that organizations “working against gender equality and women’s rights” do not receive EU funding.

The text insists that member states and administrations increase spending on health and family planning programs and services.

Against “Ultraconservative Religious Actors”

The adopted motion still speaks of “regressive forces and ultra-conservative and far-right religious actors” who “are trying to roll back decades of progress in human rights and impose a harmful worldview on the roles of men and women in families and in public life.”

The text adopted by the European Parliament criticizes certain member states: Poland, Malta, Slovakia, and Hungary, whose abortion policies are more conservative than most others. It urges European governments “to make abortion methods and procedures compulsory in the curriculum of doctors and medical students.”

In 2022, the European Parliament had already adopted a resolution in favor of abortion, which condemned the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that overturned Roe v. Wade.

This resolution only calls for a change to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, without having the power to make this change. The adopted resolution proposes that article 3.2a be amended as follows:

“All people have the right to bodily autonomy, free, informed, full, and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to all related health services without discrimination, including access to safe and legal abortion.”

To carry out a modification of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, unanimous approval of the 27 member states would be required. Some countries where the lives of unborn children are better protected, including Malta, Hungary, and Poland, are not likely to give their approval.