European Parliament Approves Resolution Pressuring Nations to Allow Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
January 14, 2009
Strasbourg, France (LifeNews.com) — Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday night approved a resolution that could be used to promote abortion throughout the continent. Pro-life advocates opposed it because it could wind up pressuring the handful of pro-life nations to legalize abortions.
Those countries include Poland, Ireland, Andorra and Malta and other nations have limits on late-term abortions.
Proposed by Giusto Catania, an Italian Communist MEP, the measure calls on each of the 27 member states to legally guarantee access to "sexual and reproductive rights" that can be interpreted to mean abortion.
Catania based his motion on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, part of the Lisbon treaty, even though neither the charter nor the treaty have become law.
The resolution also calls on nations to use taxpayer funds to pay for such reproductive health services for "ethnic minority women" — which could pressure countries to fund abortions against the will of their citizens.
Anthony Ozimic, the political secretary for the British-based pro-life group SPUC, told LifeNews.com he is upset that pro-life amendments were not approved.
"The resolution is soft-law pressure for abortion to be made a right in every EU member-state," he said.
"The resolution violates national laws on conscientious objection to abortion and on public funding for abortion. It calls for the recognition of a so-called right to abortion, yet not one international treaty or human rights court recognizes any such right," Ozimic adds.
The pro-life campaigner also said the resolution could create problems at higher international levels.
"Abortion is the most contentious issue at United Nations conferences and any attempt even to imply a right to abortion creates heated controversy between national delegations," he explained.
Ozimic says the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has called on church leaders and other pro-life groups throughout Europe to work to make the right to life the top political issue.
"The message everyone must hear is that the right to life is the most important political issue, because the right to life is the indispensable foundation of all other rights," he said. "Failure to act will mean that countless millions of unborn children will die because of the EU’s promotion of abortion both inside and outside Europe."
The vote is the first since many pro-life members of the European Parliament formed a new Human Dignity working group to promote the pro-life perspective on abortion and bioethics issues.
With the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the MEPs believed more cohesive efforts are needed to protect people from abortion and other anti-life practices.
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