On Friday, 2 October, the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected by a majority a neonatal infanticide petition that had collected 224,000 signatures. The Bureau justified its decision on the grounds that this type of petition focused on a topic that was “too sensitive” and “likely to ‘divide‘ the Assembly”. It followed the decision taken last June (cf. Gènéthique du 02 juillet 2015) by the Committee for Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe whereby a petition of this kind could question abortion and was deemed “too sensitive”.
The petition (cf. Gènéthique du 27 novembre 2014) which was rejected was, however, “the most important in the annals of the Council of Europe”. It collated proof to show that children are born alive and are often viable following delayed abortion, but are left to die, without any treatment. The petition therefore demanded compliance with the basic rights “guaranteed, in theory, to any person ‘from birth’ onwards”.
Parliamentary Assembly Members have announced that they will reintroduce the subject of neonatal infanticides to the Council of Europe in 2016.