Press release | Over 40 000 citizens say "Stop Tarabella relaunching Estrela!" and call for no EU support to abortion

Brussels, 19 January 2015

In four days over 40 000 citizens signed the Stop Tarabella relaunching Estrela! petition calling on the European Parliament to not adopt any provision in favour of EU support for abortion, an issue on which there is no EU competence (more about the petition here).

On Tuesday 20 January the European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality will vote the annual European Parliament report on theequality between women and men in the European Union – 2013. This year the rapporteur is Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella from the Socialist and Democrats group. The draft report presented by Mr Tarabella includes a paragraph which aims at promoting a "right to abortion" albeit the EU has no competence on this matter. The proposed paragraph reads: “The European Parliament (…) maintains that women must have control over their sexual and reproductive rights, not least by having ready access to contraception and abortion; accordingly supports measures and actions to improve women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services and inform them more fully about their rights and the services available; calls on the Member States and the Commission to implement measures and actions to make men aware of their responsibilities for sexual and reproductive matters”. 

However, on 10 December 2013 the European Parliament rejected the so called Estrela Report on “Sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR). In its place the Members of the European Parliament adopted a resolution that reaffirmed the principle of subsidiarity and clearly stated that “the formulation and implementation of policies on SRHR and on sexual education in schools is a competence of the Member States”.
The message is clear: the EU is not competent to decide on issues such as abortion or sexual education in schools, it is a national competence and by no means something to be decided on in Brussels.
Mr Tarabella’s move is therefore incoherent as the European Parliament already stated that there is no EU competence on the issue of abortion. Nevertheless, during the meetings of the European Parliament Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee he has stated his determination to promote a “right to abortion”. It is therefore necessary to reaffirm what the European Parliament said on 10 December 2013.

This is why FAFCE has called on citizens to make their voice heard and send a strong and united signal to the European Parliament through a petition ahead of the votes that will take place first in the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee on 20 January 2015, then during the European Parliament plenary.

In four days the petition has gathered over 40 000 signatures from citizens who count on the Members of the European Parliament to respect the principle of subsidiarity and not overstep the competence of the EU. 

Contact: Maria Hildingsson, Secretary General
+32 4 70 20 39 18
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