Protecting life during pregnancy is also defending women’s rights

The notion of “women’s rights” covers more and more concepts and rights. At the top of the list is the “right to abortion”. A “right” that is nothing but a decriminalization that does not affect the life of the foetus[1], but also of the woman.

On Wednesday March 2, the High Council for Gender Equality organized a symposium entitled “For a feminist Europe: what challenges at the time of the French Presidency of the EU? “. A topic that follows Emmanuel Macron’s speech to the European Parliament on January 19,2022.

During this symposium, Neil Datta, Secretary General of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, as well as Camille Butin, EU Advocacy Officer at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, both underlined the importance of including the “right to abortion” in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to integrate “sexual and reproductive rights” in all areas, to implement the Simone Veil Pact[2]. In the name of the rule of law and democracy. “We will not be able to build anything if the foundations of Europe in terms of the rule of law and democracy are threatened,” said Neil Datta.
Even though, in 2008, the Council of Europe urged the European states “to promote a more family-friendly attitude in public information campaigns and to provide practical advice and support to help women seeking an abortion because of family or financial pressures”. Since it is under pressure that many women succumb to abortion.

In this context, does defending “women’s rights” include promoting the “right to abortion” or defending the “right to life”? By signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration, 35 United Nations States have opted for the second option. France is not one of them.

[1] The Simone Veil Pact is a proposal from the Renaissance (Renew Europe) list during the 2019 European elections. This pact consists of the harmonization “from above [of] women’s rights in Europe by encouraging Member States to introduce into their legislation the most advanced measures that have proven their worth”. This would be a political commitment by EU member states to adopt the most “progressive” measures in terms of women’s rights.
[2] To designate an abortion, the term “termination of pregnancy” is often used, or even its acronym VTP, which is an understatement of reality. It is also sometimes referred to as an “induced” abortion, as opposed to a miscarriage.