The European Union parliament passed a controversial resolution Thursday calling abortion a “fundamental” human right and calling on member states to “ensure” its legalization without restrictions.
The non-binding resolution, which passed by a vote of 378-255, bemoans the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on “sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR) and criticizes countries that “still have highly restrictive laws prohibiting abortion except in strictly defined circumstances.”
The resolution labels abortion a “fundamental” right 10 times.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights are “grounded in fundamental human rights,” the resolution says, and “should be enhanced and cannot in any way be watered down or withdrawn.”
“SRHR is an essential element of human dignity and is intrinsically linked to the achievement of gender equality and combating gender-based violence,” the resolution says.
Further, it calls on the Member States to “safeguard the right of all persons,” to “make their own informed choices with regard” to “sexual and reproductive health and rights” and to “ensure the right to bodily integrity and personal autonomy.”
It urges nations to “ensure universal access to scientifically accurate, evidence-based, age-appropriate, non-judgemental and comprehensive sexuality education” in schools.
Opponents of the resolution issued a minority report saying it “portrays women as isolated and victimised,” “dissociates health from Life” and “prioritises a subjective well-being that encourages women to turn their backs on fertility and motherhood.”
The resolution’s sponsor, member of European Parliament (MEP) Fred Matić of Croatia, was critical of opponents and even compared pro-lifers to flat Earthers.
“Anti-choice and anti-gender movements have spared no effort to prevent the adoption of my report,” he said in a news release. “They spread disinformation about it, launched a petition against it and even went so far as to send little plastic foetuses to many MEPs. But they did not intimidate us! I hope that one day they also will walk off the edge of their flat Earth.”
But the U.S. pro-life group Live Action said science supports the pro-life position.
“Just as science proves the Earth is round, it also undeniably proves that human embryos and fetuses are human beings,” Live Action said in a blog. “Their size, level of dependence or development, and location do not determine their worth or their right to life. No child deserves to suffer a violent death in the name of someone else’s perceived freedom. No human being on this round Earth has the right to kill another human being because they are seen as inconvenient or disabled.”
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