On July 7, 2022, the European Parliament voted on a resolution to “strongly condemn” the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and to call for the inclusion of a “right to abortion” in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Despite not being an unusual resolution, this resolution received a lot of attention in the media. Less than a month ago, the European Parliament passed a similar resolution
condemning in advance the forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling and calling for the inclusion of a “right to abortion” in the Charter.
Whenever abortion restrictions are discussed in the world, the European Parliament votes on resolutions pertaining thereto. These texts relate to countries outside Europe; they are not laws, nor are they binding. Rather, it is the majority opinion of the MEPs. The European Parliament is wasting time and money by debating and amending declarations that are many pages long and must be translated into over 20 languages upon publication. In yesterday's resolution, there was a lot of nonsense and copy and paste arguments from previous resolutions, which does not make it look very serious to the MEPs.
The European Parliament's request to include a right to abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights makes no sense, for three reasons - three reasons that have nothing to do with the fundamental debate on abortion:
- In order to amend this Charter, there must be unanimity. All EU Member States must sign and ratify it, including several states such as Poland, Hungary, Malta, Cyprus that are opposed to the idea.
- This amendment would be incompatible with the Charter itself. The Charter applies when Member States implement EU law and cannot go beyond the EU's competences (article 51). As the European Commission once again pointed out last year, abortion is a matter for the Member States, as it is part of health policy, which is not an EU competence.
- From a legal point of view, if you look at all the Human Right treaties and systems around the world, nowhere is abortion a right. There is a “right to life,” which is protected, there is even international protection of children before they are born. But there is no right to abortion, because such a right is incompatible with Human Rights.
For these three reasons, the European Parliament's demand makes no sense and is doomed to fail.
The best proof of this is Emmanuel Macron's inaction on this issue during the French presidency of the European Union. In January 2022, he promised to include abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. 6 months later, at the end of the French presidency, he did not even attempt to keep this promise. Of course, he had already known in January that his promise was a sham. By making this promise, Macron mocked the Europeans and the media, most of whom picked up on this promise uncritically. But it was not possible to keep this promise, for the three reasons we have explained, and these are three reasons that Mr. Macron perfectly knows.
On the occasion of the debates this week, Grégor Puppinck, Director of the ECLJ, participated in a conference at the European Parliament in order to remind MEPs of some truths about abortion and human rights, and especially to point out the fundamental lie about abortion.