September 28, 2022

European Parliament opposes conscientious objection to abortion

The election of Roberta Metsola as president of the European Parliament has revived a debate on its position on abortion. She is the youngest-ever President and the first person from Malta, the smallest member state, to lead an EU institution. But Malta is the only country in Europe which has a total ban on abortion, for any reason. Unsurprisingly, questions about her position on “reproductive rights” dominated the news about her election.

Metsola says that she will support existing the EUP’s existing policies, although she appears to be personally opposed to abortion. “My position is that of the European parliament,” she told journalists. “And on this issue, this European parliament, on all sexual and reproductive health rights, it has been unambiguous, it has repeatedly called for these rights to be better protected.”

So what is the position of the European Parliament?

In June last year, a lengthy resolution on sexual and reproductive health and rights passed by a vote of 378 votes in favour, 255 against and 42 abstentions. It was sponsored by a Croatian MEP, Predrag Fred Matić,.

“This vote marks a new era in the European Union and the first real resistance to a regressive agenda that has trampled on women’s rights in Europe for years,” said Mr Matić at the time. “A majority of MEPs have made their position clear to Member States and called on them to ensure access to safe and legal abortion and a range of other sexual and reproductive health services.’’

Such sentiments are hardly new and are supported by most of the member states – with the notable exceptions of Poland and Malta.

However, there was at least one important section which escaped scrutiny by journalists – a rejection of the notion of conscientious objection to abortion by healthcare workers:

Even when legally available, there are barriers in the access to abortion. This leads to the violation of SRHR [sexual and reproductive health and rights], but also to inequalities in achieving women’s rights across the EU.

One of the most problematic barriers is the denial of medical care based on personal beliefs, where medical professionals often do not perform abortions, calling upon their personal beliefs. This not only denies women of their right to health and medical procedures, but also raises the question of public referral systems.

According to the EP Study on Implications of Conscientious Objection on SRHR national legislation often allows for health care professionals to opt out of providing goods and services to which they are morally opposed, including performing abortions or prescribing, selling or advising on contraceptive methods through ‘the refusal to participate in an activity that an individual considers incompatible with his/her religious, moral, philosophical or ethical beliefs.

Moving forward it should be addressed as denial of medical care rather than the so-called conscientious objection. A large number of Member States (20+) provide for the right to the so-called conscientious objection, which is also recognised by UN instruments and the European Convention on Human Rights. Notably, this is not an absolute right and the ECtHR has held that it should not be used to block the access to services to which they are legally entitled.

In practice, this is exactly what happens on a daily basis across the EU – women do not have access to their legally granted right to abortion as the medical staff denies them of that medical care, with public hospitals not putting public referral systems in place. This is an evident and multidimensional violation and practical denial of exercising an already achieved legal right.

The position of the European Parliament on abortion could be strengthened by recent words by French President Emmanuel Macron. In a speech earlier this week he called for abortion to be added to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

“Twenty years after the proclamation of our Charter of Fundamental Rights, which notably enshrined the abolition of the death penalty throughout the Union, I hope that we can update this charter, notably to be more explicit on environmental protection or the recognition of the right to abortion,” he said. “Let us open this debate freely with our fellow citizens of great European conscience to give new life to our set of rights that forges this Europe strong in its values, the only future of our common political project.”

One thought on “European Parliament opposes conscientious objection to abortion

  1. Excerpt from Maurice Caillet’s interviews, recently died, famous convert, that I think could illuminate the current European elitist political world:
    « Intern of the Hospitals of Paris then surgeon-gynecologist in Rennes in Brittany, Maurice Caillet, I was born into a family of Christian origin having completely apostatized, which did not see fit to be baptized in childhood. I was educated in secular schools and high schools. Rationalist and scientist, I adhered to the theories of JACQUES MONOD on “Chance and necessity”, concerning the random and spontaneous chemical origins of life. Attracted to Freemasonry at the age of 35, I was a pioneer in artificial contraception, sterilizations and voluntary termination of pregnancy even before their legalization.
    I was an active Freemason for fifteen years (Venerable of Lodge, 18th rank, Delegate to the Convent, Member of the Fraternal of High Officials), Rosicrucian AMORC for ten years, occultist, spiritist and I knew Templars, Martinists, Alchemists.
    As a gynaecological surgeon, I was particularly involved in the development and implementation of the Veil law. I was in contact with Dr. Pierre Simon, Grand Master of the GLF and President of Family Planning who advocated the liberalization of abortion: he was an advisor to the Ministry of Mrs. Veil and President Giscard d’Estaing had for advisor Jean-Pierre Prouteau, Grand Master of the GODF, who supported the same theses. The so-called “marriage for all” law was prepared by the ministry of Mr. Ayrault which includes no less than a dozen members or former members of the GODF.(Grand Orient de France, my footnote).”
    In his book “I was a Freemason” he explains that Freemasonry was crucial for the introduction of free abortion in France in 1974…
    “The election of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing as President of the French Republic made Jacques Chirac Prime Minister, who in turn hired Jean-Pierre Prouteau as personal advisor, the Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France, the main line of French Freemasonry, with a secular
    attitude. Minister of Health was Simone Veil, a lawyer, former deportee in Auschwitz, whose advisor in turn became Dr. Pierre Simon, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of France, with whom I was also in contact. All these politicians were surrounded by those who called us our “brothers…” and the law on abortion was quickly enacted. Only adopted by the Council of Ministers in November, the Veil Law was elected in December. The deputies and senators who were Freemasons, whether right-wing or left-wing, voted with great unanimity.
    Freemasonry is particularly harmful to Christianity because it does not have the appearance of a sect, but of a benedict philosophical association (moderate dues, democratic organization of the first three grades, no apparent constraint, no discernible brainwashing), but for 250 years it has gradually and deeply permeated the ideas and legislation of all countries: secularism, clubism, divorce, contraception, abortion, p.a.c.s. decriminalization of drugs, euthanasia… »
    “How does Freemasonry proceed?”
    Like an ideas lab. The great problems of society are systematically studied in the lodge. This work is then disseminated to the public. Especially about the deputies and senators who are Freemasons. They introduce draft laws that are directly the result of work in the shadow of the lodges. Thus, contraception, abortion, the trivialization of divorce are the fruit of Masonic thought. This wants to solve human problems in such a way that all coercion, all dependence, be it in relation to morality or religion, are eliminated.”

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