“It goes beyond its remit in addressing issues such as health, sexual education, and reproduction, as well as abortion and education, which are legislative powers belonging to the member states,” they wrote.
“It treats abortion as a purported human right that does not exist in international law. This is a breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the main binding treaties, as well as of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.”
They noted that 154 amendments were tabled against the text.
The European Parliament passed a resolution last November lamenting what it called a “de facto ban on the right to abortion in Poland.”
It backed the resolution by 455 votes to 145 after Poland’s top court ruled that a 1993 law permitting abortion for fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional.
Catholic bishops across Europe criticized the resolution. In a letter released in February, they said that it would have “a very negative impact” on the way the EU is seen by its member states.
A bill seeking to decriminalize abortion was introduced in Malta’s parliament May 12. The bill is the first of its kind in the Mediterranean country. Malta’s President George Vella has said that he would rather resign than sign the bill.
The ECLJ highlighted the new report’s threat to conscientious objection to abortion.
Noting that many EU member states recognize healthcare professionals’ right to refuse to participate in activities that would violate their consciences, the report said: “Moving forward it should be addressed as denial of medical care rather than the so-called conscientious objection.”
The ECLJ pointed out that the right to freedom of conscience is guaranteed by international and European law.
“The fundamental nature of this freedom no longer needs to be proven; it is even described by the European Court [of Human Rights] as the foundation of democratic society,” it commented.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter