The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. / fotogoocom via Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0).
Rome Newsroom, Jul 7, 2022 / 02:20 am (CNA).
Legal experts have called “inaccurate and misleading” a proposed resolution by the European Parliament to include a “right to abortion” in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
The law-making body is set to vote on the resolution in the afternoon on July 7. It is titled “On the US Supreme Court decision to overturn abortion rights in the United States and the need to safeguard abortion rights and women’s health in the EU.”
“Every government has a sovereign right to protect the most vulnerable in their countries — those in the womb,” Adina Portaru, senior counsel for ADF International in Brussels said in a statement to CNA July 6.
“Women deserve better than abortion,” she continued. “A Europe which is truly committed to human rights is one that respects and protects both lives in a pregnancy — supporting both mother and child.”
The European Parliament is one of two legislative bodies of the EU, a political and economic union of 27 member states. In early June, a motion for a resolution was introduced on the topic of “Global threats to abortion rights: the possible overturning of abortion rights in the U.S. by the Supreme Court.”
After the Dobbs decision was released, the European Parliament discussed a new resolution on July 4, which proposes to add a “right to abortion” as “Article 7a,” to the list of 50 rights in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union. It would follow Article 7: “respect for private and family life.”
Portaru said “the proposed text of this non-binding resolution is fundamentally inaccurate and misleading. There is no ‘right’ to abortion — on the contrary, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union upholds the right to life for everyone.”
“The radical attempt by Members of the European Parliament to pressure countries to adopt an extreme regime — abortion without limit through all nine months of pregnancy — represents a move which is greatly out of touch with the European people,” she continued. “In fact, a survey of 30 European countries shows that 6 out of 7 Europeans support some form of limit on abortion that would protect women and their unborn children.”
Vincenzo Bassi, a lawyer and president of the Federation of Catholic Families (FAFCE), said in a statement to CNA that “the recognition of an alleged right to abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, would be in flagrant contradiction to the Charter itself, which enshrines in its first two articles the inviolability of human dignity and the right to life.”
FAFCE is an umbrella organization which promotes Catholic values about the family to the European Union and European Council.
Bassi’s statement said “both in the US and in the EU, policymakers should be focused on recognizing the function of the family and on protecting and valuing motherhood as a priceless gift, instead of favoring highways to the ‘throwaway’ culture of consumption and waste, denounced by Pope Francis.”
“Public institutions should put the welcoming of life [in] the first place by addressing the numerous barriers that couples and families face. Instead, the European Parliament reiterates its suggestions to make abortion easier,” he said.
“It is disappointing that this institution spends time on issues that fall so far outside of its purview and from the genuine concerns of EU citizens.”
In June, Father Manuel Barrios Prieto, the secretary general of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), expressed “surprise” that the European Union’s law-making body intended to discuss “the impact of a leaked draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court concerning abortion.”
“This is an unacceptable interference in the democratic jurisdictional decisions of a sovereign state, a country that is also not a member state of the EU,” he said.
“The adoption of a resolution by the European Parliament that endorses this interference will only discredit this institution.”