Czech Republic Scraps Bill to Fund Abortions for EU Residents

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2011   |   1:23PM   |   Prague, Czech Republic

The Czech Parliament has decided against adopting legislation that would have required the European nation to offer inexpensive abortions to citizens of foreign European Union member states.

The Alliance Defense Fund submitted a legal opinion last month to the Czech Republic Ministry of Health, dispelling misconceptions that European law requires the country to offer such abortions.

“No government must offer abortions simply because pro-abortion advocates demand they be provided. Neither European nor international law requires the Czech Republic to offer abortions,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “The Czech Parliament made the right decision to derail this bad and unpopular legislation.”

“Attempts to force this type of illegitimate cross-border recognition through legislation are nothing new to Americans, who have already seen similar attempts involving health care and marriage,” Kiska added. “Fortunately, this latest potential wildfire that was kindled by those who wanted to expand the reach of abortionists was doused in Europe before it could spread to American shores.”

The problematic legislation lacked public support and was dropped and some of the same arguments ADF used in its legal papers, local pro-life and pro-family Czech Republic groups used in their arguments and communications with MPs against the legislation.

ADF stressed in its legal opinion submitted to the Czech Republic Ministry of Health that the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have themselves declared that they have no authority over member states with regard to abortion. Past resolutions by both bodies that recommended easy and legal access to abortion throughout Europe were entirely non-binding opinions.

The resolutions “are not binding on the Member States of the EU or the Council of Europe or any other European institutions,” the ADF legal opinion explained.  “Despite what some pressure groups may suggest, there is no such thing as a ‘right to abortion’ in international law or in European law…. Therefore, by restricting access to an abortion to certain people, a Member State should not be seen to be acting contrary to European law.”

In 2006, the Council of Europe itself explained, “The European Union treaties have not bestowed on the Community or the Union the competence whereby the Union could regulate on abortions.  The Member States thus have the competence to regulate on this and ensure compliance in their territory with the laws that they pass. The EU cannot interfere in unsatisfactory states of affairs due to differences in the legislation of Member States when it comes to areas that are not within its competence.”

Later, the Council clarified further, writing, “the issue of abortion from a legal point of view falls under the competence of the individual Member States.”

“Forcing this type of illegitimate cross-border recognition is something Americans have already seen attempted in laws related to health care and marriage,” Kiska added. “It must be stopped wherever it rears its ugly head.”