Loading
Pro-life petition could spark European legislation, debate
By Adelaide Mena
Copyright European Union 2013. European Parliament (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
Copyright European Union 2013. European Parliament (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

.- A citizen-led initiative in Europe is nearing the one million signatures needed to prompt a discussion on human life and push for an end to funding of abortion and embryo-destroying research. 

The initiative, called “One of Us,” seeks to protect the “dignity, the right to life and the integrity of every human being” at all stages of development.

It asks the European Union “to end the financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the areas of research, development aid and public health,” according to the organizers’ website.

The petition was introduced as a European citizens’ initiative, a participative democracy project in which the people can submit legislative proposals to the European parliament if they can generate one million signatures from citizens within a year. 

Since November 2012, One of Us has received more than 800,000 signatures, needing just under 200,000 more by Nov. 1, 2013 to reach the target.

The campaign has been met with widespread support throughout Europe, gaining the endorsement of 40 pro-life leaders, politicians, scholars and doctors from across the continent.

In addition, it has received the support of numerous Catholic bishops and two consecutive Popes.

“I greet the Movement for Life and wish it success on the ‘One of Us’ initiative so that Europe might always be a place where every human being's dignity is safeguarded,” said Benedict XVI in February, during one of his last public appearances.

Pope Francis has also supported the initiative, asking pro-life activists to sign the petition during Italy’s March for Life in May.

If the petition gains enough votes and the European Commission respects its own rules regarding citizens’ initiatives, the “European Parliament will be forced to schedule a debate on the issue of life at conception,” One of Us explains.

The group’s goal is to enact a ban on the funding of embryo-destroying research and abortions, as well as achieve a greater cultural awareness of the importance of respecting human life from conception.

The petition’s organizers are also calling for a “concrete ethical standard” to be established across Europe regarding respect for all of humanity, regardless of age or development.

Laws on abortion and embryo-destroying research currently vary widely across the continent. First trimester abortion is legal in nearly all European countries, but other restrictions on the procedure – as well as those regulating reproductive technologies and research that takes the life of a human embryo – differ greatly in various nations.

If it succeeds, One of Us will be only the second European citizens’ initiative to garner one million votes. The other successful petition declares water to be a human right and has collected nearly two million signatures.

A number of other citizens’ initiatives that expire this year are expected to fail, falling short of the one million signature mark.

Even if the proposed legislation never becomes law, the organizers are optimistic, saying that it “could be a starting point of a new Europe-wide mobilization of the pro-life movement.”

“Every experience we collect here can be used for campaigns on other pro-life issues in further course,” the group explained. “In that sense, it can be expected that the outcome may be very enduring.”

Tags: Abortion, Pro-life, European Union


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: