European Parliament Approves Two Extreme Pro-Abortion Resolutions
Saturday, June 26, 2021

The European Parliament voted 378 to 255 with 42 abstentions in favor of a resolution on the radical and extreme ‘Matić Report on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU, in the frame of women’s health’.

The report mentions a so-called "right to abortion" and calls on EU Member States to change laws to allow access to abortion—an action that not only conflicts with EU law but has no basis in international law. Debate in the Parliament followed committee debate last month during which abortion was the most contentious issue as it was during the parliamentary session.

Following the vote, MEP Fred Matić tweeted, “We did it! The European Parliament adopted my report on sexual and reproductive health and women's rights by 378 votes. Finally, we have a clear position - everyone must have access to contraception, medically assisted reproduction, abortion and other health services!”

Prioritization of the abortion agenda is pervasive in the report which is critical of common-sense abortion regulations stating, “whereas even when abortion is legally available, there are often a range of legal, quasi-legal and informal barriers to accessing it, including limited time periods and the grounds on which to access abortion; medically unwarranted waiting periods; a lack of trained and willing healthcare professionals; and the denial of medical care based on personal beliefs, biased and mandatory counselling, deliberate misinformation or third-party authorisation, medically unnecessary tests, distress requirements, the costs involved and the lack of their reimbursement.” 

In another vote, the European Parliament approved the radical pro-abortion resolution on the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) (Nairobi Summit). In the 444-182 vote, with 57 abstentions, parliamentarians called on the EU and its Member States to recognize “the rights of women and girls to bodily integrity and autonomous decision-making” and condemned “frequent violations of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including the denial of access to comprehensive sexuality education, family planning services, contraceptives and maternal healthcare, as well as safe and legal abortion care” and called “for an adequate budget for the above purposes.”

The resolution expressed concern about “restrictive abortion laws in many countries” and “conscientious objection of healthcare providers and unnecessary requirements, such as mandatory waiting periods, mandatory counselling, provision of misleading information, third-party authorisation, and medically unnecessary tests” which it claimed “are among the main barriers to addressing maternal health and contribute to unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.”

It stated “that the denial of SRHR services, including safe and legal abortion, is a form of violence against women and girls” and found it “unacceptable that women’s and girls’ bodies remain an ideological battleground, specifically with regard to their SRHR”.

In regards to development, the resolution urged the European Commission “in defining its future global sustainable development policy as well as implementing the comprehensive strategy for Africa, to fully integrate and strengthen EU support for sexual and reproductive health projects…”

The 2019 Nairobi Summit was a contentious meeting which excluded pro-life advocates and was opposed by the Holy See, bishops in Africa, and Christian organizations in Kenya over its promotion of abortion and other issues included under the broad banner of “sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)”.  Eleven countries issued their own statement affirming that “We do not support references in international documents to ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which do not enjoy international consensus … In addition, the use of the term SRHR may be used to actively promote practices like abortion.”

The joint statement also noted, “There is no international right to abortion; in fact, international law clearly states that '[e]veryone has the right to life'” and that the Cairo Conference said “that countries should 'take appropriate steps to help women avoid abortion, which in no case should be promoted as a method of family planning' (ICPD 7.24) and to 'reduce the recourse to abortion'.”

The EP resolution expresses opposition to the joint pro-life statement and welcomes President Biden’s overturning of President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global health Assistance Policy while calling for more EU and Member State funding for abortion:

“Deeply regrets the joint statement on the Nairobi Summit of 14 November 2019 made by the United States, Brazil, Belarus, Egypt, Haiti, Hungary, Libya, Poland, Senegal, St. Lucia, and Uganda, which seeks to undermine the established consensus and their obligations regarding women’s SRHR as agreed in accordance with the ICPD Programme of Action, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences; welcomes the recent repealing of the Global Gag Rule and the impact it has had on women’s and girls’ global healthcare and rights; reiterates its call for the EU and its Member States to address the financing gap in this field by means of national funding and EU development funding.”