Monday, June 13, 2022
Abortion is (again) on the political agenda in Strasbourg and beyond. The leaked draft opinion from the United States Supreme Court sparked a fire and the debate over abortion in the US came over to Europe, like many things often do. Since the leak, politicians in several European countries have reacted to it in one way or another and, most recently, a majority of members of the European Parliament put the issue on the plenary agenda in Strasbourg last week.
This leaked draft opinion from the United States Supreme Court which seems to indicate that the Court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, (a 1973 Supreme Court landmark decision which affirmed a woman’s right to privacy in taking healthcare-related decisions (including abortion)), was used as justification to bring the issue on the table in Strasbourg. As a reminder, the European Parliament is a European institution which has no competence to legislate on issues like abortion, and much less when the issue is from a country outside Europe.
It was a fiery, animated debate, punctuated by occasional underhanded jabs from a few of the members of the EP. It was quite bizarre to witness a debate where elected representatives of European citizens think they have a say in the internal affairs of a democratic, independent country across the ocean. One of the MEPs called into question this attempt to put pressure on the government and Court of a democratic country, since that goes against the rule of law which many members so highly appreciate.
The ECPM MEPs Peter van Dalen and Bert-Jan Ruissen, as well as Helmut Geuking, have stood up to decry the topic and direction of the resolution tabled and of the speeches, expressing their disappointment in EU’s abandonment of the defense of life. At the end of his speech, Peter van Dalen called for the fathers who oftentimes avoid their responsibilities in the case of unplanned pregnancies to step up and get involved. Ruissen agreed that financial support should be increased for mothers and babies so that women choose life.
The ECPM believes that life is given by God and sustained by Him. We believe that it begins at conception and ends at natural death and as such, we will continue to focus on promoting life-centered policies.
We call upon the members of the European Parliament to focus their work on the challenges of the European countries and societies. There is much work to be done and consensus to be reached on issues which really are the competence of the EP, like protecting the environment, the internal market and cross-border issues. Let’s stick to that!