Sat. Aug 13th, 2022
Strasbourg, 7 July 2022
  • US congress should pass a bill to protect abortion at federal level 
  • EU countries must guarantee access to safe, legal and free abortion services 
  • Activists and providers of sexual and reproductive health and rights need political support

MEPs strongly condemn once more the backsliding in women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the US and in some EU member states.

The right to abortion should be included in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, MEPs urge in a resolution on the US Supreme Court decision to overturn abortion rights in the United States and the need to safeguard abortion rights and women’s heath in the EU, adopted with 324 in favour, 155 against and 38 abstentions. A proposal should be submitted to the Council to amend Article 7 of the Charter adding that “everyone has the right to safe and legal abortion.” MEPs expect the European Council to meet to discuss a Convention to revise the EU Treaties, as already stated in their resolution on 9 June.

MEPs express their solidarity with and support for women and girls in the US, as well as to those involved in both providing and advocating for the right and access to legal and safe abortion care in such challenging circumstances. Given this, they call for the US Congress to pass a bill that would protect abortion at federal level.

They are also concerned about a possible surge in funding for anti-gender and anti-choice groups in the world, including in Europe. They urge member states to decriminalise abortion, and to remove and combat the remaining legal, financial, social and practical restrictions still hampering access in some member states.

EU countries should guarantee access to safe, legal and free abortion services, pre-natal and maternal healthcare services, voluntary family planning, youth-friendly services, and to HIV prevention, treatment and support, without discrimination, the resolution says. The Commission and member states should step up their political support for human rights defenders and healthcare providers working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), it adds.

Background

On 9 June, MEPs adopted a resolution calling for the landmark case of Roe v. Wade to be upheld. The decision taken by the US Supreme Court on 24 June to overturn guaranteed nationwide protection of abortion rights allows each US state to restrict or ban abortion.