No EU Right to Abortion says COMECE
While the outcome of the constitutionalization of abortion in France remains uncertain, the European Bishops' Commission reiterates and reminds "the ethical indefensibility of an EU fundamental right to abortion."
On January 19, 2022, the French president announced his intention to include abortion in the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights. This declaration of intent was made at the start of France's six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union. The project has not yet come to fruition, as it would require the unanimous agreement of the EU member states; but the will of so doing is still present in many minds in Brussels.
The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) states in its press release of July 18, 2023 that: "Respect for the dignity of every human being in every stage of its life, especially in situations of complete vulnerability, is a fundamental principle in a democratic society." (see press release).
As the ECLJ has repeatedly demonstrated, COMECE's statement makes it clear that there is no international right to abortion, and that the European Court of Human Rights has never recognized such a right. No international treaty or European convention contains such a provision, which would oppose another formally established fundamental right: the right to life.
The COMECE also points out that medical issues do not fall, in principle, within the competence of the European Union, but within that of the states. This will to elevate abortion as a fundamental right of the European Union is part of a larger ongoing extension of the Union's powers and influence over member states.
This reminder of the Catholic Church's historic opposition to abortion is a good news for political parties in Europe with strong policy proposals to protect life, pregnant women and the family above all.