European Parliament calls for inclusion of abortion among EU fundamental rights
The European Parliament on Thursday (7) called for the right to abortion to be included in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU), after a controversial ruling by the United States Supreme Court establishing that it is not a constitutional right applicable in every country.
By 324 votes in favor, 155 against and 38 abstentions, MEPs decided to ask the European Council (which represents the bloc’s states) to include this notion in the charter of fundamental rights, stating that “everyone has the right to benefit from a safe and legal abortion.”
Adopted in 2000, this legally binding charter has the same value as treaties.
Including abortion among the fundamental rights needs, however, the unanimity of member countries, according to the current EU treaties, as the issue divides the 27.
For this reason, MEPs also asked the Council “to meet to discuss a convention, allowing to revise the treaties” in order to bring the issue of unanimity to the table.
The request was accompanied by a condemnation from the European Parliament of the “regression of women’s rights (…), sexual and reproductive rights in the United States and in some member states” of the bloc.
On June 24, the United States Supreme Court ended the federal legal guarantee of abortion nationwide. It is now up to each of the 50 U.S. states to decide on the issue.
“EU countries should guarantee access to safe, legal and free abortion services, prenatal and maternal care services, voluntary family planning, contraception, youth services,” the European lawmakers said in the resolution.
They also called for support for “prevention, treatment and support for people living with HIV, without discrimination.”
Long before the planetary outrage over the decision by the highest court in the United States, French President Emmanuel Macron had suggested in January this year that the right to abortion be included in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
On Wednesday, European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli said in Parliament that “women’s rights are an asset and an essential feature of democracies.”
Therefore, she added, “turning back is not an option for a continent that aspires to win the future.”
For his part, Stéphane Sejourné, leader of the centrist bloc, called for giving “the women of Europe the guarantee that no judge can extirpate, and for us to remind reactionaries what they really are: a relic of the past with no future in the EU.”
Este artigo está disponível em: Português