Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Press release | Contradictory EU Parliament Report affirms subsidiarity on "Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights"

Strasbourg, 10 March 2015

This morning the European Parliament voted the Annual report on the equality between women and men in the EU - 2013 presented by MEP Marc Tarabella.  This report has raised concerns among citizens across the EU regarding the issue of abortion which was included in the text although it is not an EU competence. More than 168 000 citizens have expressed their concerns through an online petition addressed to the Members of the European Parliament.

The petition asks the Members of the European Parliament to reaffirm the position already adopted in December 2013 when 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 Tarabella report was adopted and reaffirms the principle of subsidiarity and that SRHR is a Member State competence.

However, the text is contradictory as it also considers abortion in a fundamental rights perspective, a point of view already expressed by the Socialists and Democrats group of which the rapporteur Mr Tarabella is a member. This political group aims at integrating "the right to abortion" into the Fundamental Rights Charter of the European Union. An aim which is utterly contradictory as the first article of the Charter states that "Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected." and the second article that "Everyone has the right to life"

This contradictory report calls for further action to defend Human Dignity at all stages of life, whilst respecting the national competence on all issues related to SRHR. The "Panzeri report" that addresses the same issue will be voted on Thursday 12 March.

The Panzeri report does not only promote a "right to abortion" but also breaches to principle of subsidiarity, criticises national referendums and promotes yet another issue which is not part of the EU competence, namely same sex marriage.

FAFCE calls on citizens to continue to make their voices heard at the European Parliament to reaffirm the principle of subsidiarity and foremost to protect human dignity. The mobilisation through the online petition will continue.

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