Letter for Europe, October 2013
The European Citizenship Initiative “One of Us” has now reached already 1,3 Mio signatures in Europe and fulfils all criteria to be considered by the European Commission (www.oneofus.eu).
In a recent attempt to neutralize One of Us before it gets submitted in November, a Report is due to be voted at in the European Parliament next Monday. Below you find some significant quotes from this document presented by the Portuguese socialist MEP Ms. Estrela.
This report promotes abortion as a fundamental right, attacks the right to conscientious objection and the rights of parents and calls on the European Union to fund abortion in its Foreign and Development Aid Policy. This text wants more abortions and less rights for conscientious objectors and parents, it recommends nothing in relation to the prevention of abortion or support for pregnant women. It is a striking example of old-style feminism and has nothing to do with modern politics in which space for life and all people, including children, must be sought.
Please support this urgent matter by expressing your concern to your national deputies in the EU-Parliament. It would be useful to write a short, personalized email before the weekend in order to ask your representatives in the European Parliament to vote against this report or make sure it gets significantly changed. Only in this way, direct democracy and human dignity can be secured.
Here you find all members of the European Parliament, including contact details: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/search.html?politicalGroup=2948
It might be particularly useful to write to Members of the European Peoples Party.
Text excerpts below. Full text: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A7-2013-0306+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN
Draft Report “Estrela” to be voted on Oct 22 – excerpts:
The European Parliament …
8… “calls on Member States to ensure access to fertility treatments and assisted medical procreation also for single women and lesbians;”
19…“calls on the Member States to guarantee sustainable funding to public services and civil society organisations providing services in the field of sexual and reproductive health;”
26… “Stresses that SRHRs (sexual and reproductive health and rights) are basic rights for women and men which should not to be restricted on the grounds of religion, for example by closing concordats.”
As regards unintended and unwanted pregnancy: access to contraception and safe abortion services”
30... “Calls on the Member States to refrain from preventing pregnant women seeking abortion to travel to other Member States or jurisdictions where the procedure is legal;”
34... “Recommends that, as a human rights and public health concern, high-quality abortion services should be made legal, safe, and accessible to all within the public health systems of the Member States, including non-resident women, who often seek these services in other countries due to restrictive abortion laws in their country of origin, and to avoid clandestine abortions that seriously endanger women’s physical and mental health;”
35... “Underlines that even when legal, abortion is often prevented or delayed by obstacles to the access of appropriate services, such as the widespread use of conscientious objection, medically unnecessary waiting periods or biased counselling; stresses that Member States should regulate and monitor the use of conscientious objection in the key professions, so as to ensure that reproductive health care is guaranteed as an individual’s right, while access to lawful services is ensured and appropriate public referrals systems of good quality are in place; stresses that the right to conscientious objection is an individual right and not a collective policy, and that advice and counselling must be confidential non-judgmental; is concerned that medical staff are coerced into refusing SRHR and services in religion-based hospitals and clinics throughout the EU;”
50... “Reminds Member States that they must ensure that children and young people can enjoy their right to seek, receive and impart information related to sexuality, including sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, in an age-appropriate and gender-sensitive manner;”