European Parliament: A draft resolution promises abortion and “attacks conscientious objection”

Publié le : 11 October 2013

 A draft resolution "on sexual and reproductive health and rights" (SDSG) will be examined on 22 October in the European Parliament. This draft resolution gives Grégor Puppinck, Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), cause for concern. In a press release dated 10 October, he explained that this draft resolution, which was drawn up by Vicky Clayes, President of the European section of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF EN), "promises abortion as a basic right, attacks the right to conscientious objection and the rights of parents, and asks the European Union to finance abortion as part of its external aid to development policy". He insisted that the text makes no reference to "preventing abortion or supporting pregnant women".            

According to G. Puppinck, this type of draft resolution exceeds the competence of the European Union. This topic has, in fact, had several airings already. In the words of European Commissioner Dali, on 30 April 2012, "given the ethical, social and cultural aspects of abortion, Member States should draft and apply their own policies and legislation in this area. The Commission does not intend to draft national public health policies in this domain".      
Reverting to certain aspects of the resolution in greater detail, G. Puppinck points out that the text "exposes the misuse of conscientious objection when it comes to abortion", and asks States to regulate and monitor this. This denunciation refers to the increasing number of cases of conscientious objection in Europe, as witnessed in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Ireland and even in Italy where 80% of gynaecologists invoke this right (Gènéthique press review on June 3rd, 2013). 
Furthermore, the draft resolution exposes the length of time given to women to make their decision and "the overly restrictive interpretations of existing limitations" regarding abortion. He went on to say that "abortion would be a human right backed up by international law", and supported the fact that "adolescents are ‘entitled to confidentiality’ in sexual health matters" […] which "implies that parents are stripped of their rights when their daughter becomes pregnant," explains G. Puppinck. Finally, he "is asking the European Union to finance abortion in poor countries between 2014 and 2020 using the European Development Fund" and "to include ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights’ including abortion in the European co-operation framework agreement for development".   
G. Puppinck also questions the scrutiny of this kind of draft resolution at European Parliamentary level since the European citizens’ initiative, ONE OF US has already collected over 1,200,000 signatures, taking all Member States into account, demanding the opposite, namely "the cessation of European Union financing for abortion and industrial and scientific practices involving the destruction of human embryos". 

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