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The right to abortion must be included in the EU Fundamental Rights Charter!

Date

11 Apr 2024

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

Despite opposition from the right and the far-right, the European Parliament called today for the right to legal and safe abortion to be included in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The progressive resolution adopted, with an overwhelming support from the Socialists and Democrats, reminds us that sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are fundamental human rights, which must be protected and not be watered down in any way. The resolution also calls on the EU governments to fully decriminalise abortion. This is our answer to the growing attacks on women and their rights by the far right globally and in Europe.

Once again, Members of the right and the far-right political groups in the European Parliament voted against women and their right to safe and legal abortion. They even presented their own alternative conservative texts of resolutions, but were, however, not adopted. 

The adopted resolution urges the addition of the following article to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: “Everyone has the right to bodily autonomy, to free, informed, full and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to all related healthcare services without discrimination, including the access to safe and legal abortion.”  

Fred Matić, S&D MEP and the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the sexual and reproductive health and rights in the FEMM committee, said:

“The right to legal and safe abortion must be carved into stone to be better protected against the far right’s relentless attempts to undermine and revoke them. It is unacceptable that there are still Member States in our Union that continuously deny their own responsibility in ensuring access to abortion. At the same time, the Council and the Commission are constantly hiding behind the poor argument of national competences. The lack of EU standardization in this area leads to the criminalisation of abortion, grave limitations in accessing it and clandestine abortion procedures.

“However, today I am very proud because we once again confirmed a clear progressive majority in this house standing on the side of women’s rights. It is not acceptable that, in the 21st century, some of our colleagues in the Parliament treat women as second-class citizens and actively work on revoking their rights. We need to ensure, promote and protect women’s rights, including their right to healthcare and abortion, and today’s vote is one of the first steps in that direction.”

Cyrus Engerer, S&D MEP and negotiator on this file in the LIBE committee, added: 

Today’s vote gives a clear sign on where the Parliament stands on abortion. It is time for the EU to be a place where abortion can be a reality for all women and people who can be pregnant to have full access to this basic fundamental rights. 

“I am, however, very worried to see the anti-abortion movement taking root in far-right and populistic rhetoric, fueled by money coming from Russia and ultra-conservative religious groups based in the US, which are also the ones scapegoating the LGBTIQ+ community, and trans and intersex persons in particular.

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