European Parliament says abortion should be a “fundamental right”
A majority of parliamentarians in Strasbourg passes a non-binding resolution that “strongly” condemns the Supreme Court decision of the United States.
STRASBOURG · 07 JULY 2022 · 17:31 CET
A large majority of Members of the European Parliament has said “safe and legal abortion” should be a “right” included in the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The motion was passed with a majority of 324 votes in favour and 155 against on 7 July, after a debate in which the European Parliament “strongly” condemned the US Supreme Court decision that ended abortion as a constitutional right, effectively returning the lawmaking on on the matter to each State.
Evangelical Christians and other groups in the US celebrated the “historic decision”. In Europe, most countries allow abortion with liberal laws and pro-life groups are small, despite a growing social support.
The European Parliament has no competences in legislating on health policies for the members states.
Nonetheless, the motion passed was clear in rejecting the decision taken in the US, arguing that is will cause social polarisation and influence the development of “sexual and reproductive rights” in other parts of the world.
In the debate, EU countries like Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia were criticised for their pro-life policies.
The motion also said “anti-gender and anti-choice groups” groups in Europe would gain from the US Supreme Court decision. The motion asked the European Commission to spend more money to promote abortion in the continent and elsewhere.
Despite the large majority who defend abortion as a right, there were exceptions like that of Manfred Weber, the president of the European People’s Party (EPP, the largest group in the EU chamber), who voted against the motion despite the support of most of his EPP colleagues.