In May, a draft resolution by the Croatian MEP Predrag Matić, member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, who presents abortion as it was a fundamental right, calls on the member states to abolish their national laws that limit the practice of abortion and to repeal conscience clauses.
The text affirms that the fact that some of the countries of the European Union (EU) “still have laws that prohibit abortion, except in strictly defined circumstances, […] is a violation of human rights and a form of gender violence” which must be condemned.
He says that conscientious objection, “shall it go forward, it must be considered a denial of medical care, an obvious and multidimensional violation of the exercise of a legal right that is already achieved.”
Moreover, he asks the Commissioner for Democracy and Demography to confront “those who utilize sexual and reproductive health and rights in order to undermine the values of the Union and democracy.” Read the full draft resolution here.
In 2013, Portuguese MEP Edite Estrela tried to pass a similar resolution, but thanks to the action of a group of parliamentarians and civil organizations, the EP recognized that the issue of abortion belongs to the exclusive competence of the member states.
Mapping and stigmatizing the pro-life movement
In addition, on March 25, the Commissions on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in the Democratic Processes of the European Union held a joint hearing on the “foreign financing” of pro-life organizations in the region, with the aim of “collecting data and information.” Only abortion activists and politicians were invited to the session, but nobody from the pro-life side. You can see the recording of the session here.
In fact, it is an attempt to map and stigmatize pro-life citizens, organizations, politicians and governments, creating a kind of ‘black list’. The result will be their exclusion from European political life as they will be presented as “dangerous for democracy and contrary to the values of the EU”.
This is somewhat similar to what Víctor Madrigal-Borloz is doing for the UN Human Rights Council.
The European Center for Law and Justice has shown that these two actions – the draft resolution and the “blacklist” – are the product of a lobby coordinated by Neil Datta, Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF).
He is also the founder of the EPF, the main pressure group about abortion matters on the European legislative bodies, together with the International Family Planning Federation (IPPF). Since its foundation in 2000, EPF has received millions of funding from the United Nations, the IPPF, the Gates Foundation and the Open Society Foundations as well, among others.