An accompanying “explanatory statement” claimed that the report “comes at a crucial moment in the EU, with backlash and regression in women’s rights gaining momentum and contributing to the erosion of acquired rights and endangering the health of women.”
Two Members of the European Parliament, Margarita de la Pisa Carrión and Jadwiga Wiśniewska, set out a “minority position,” arguing that the report had “no legal or formal rigor.”
“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 Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), an NGO based in Strasbourg, France, suggested that the report’s supporters were seeking “to introduce a new norm without it appearing at first sight to be imposed.”
It said: “The choice of the institution in this strategy is not to be underestimated, because although the resolutions of the European Parliament have no binding legal value, they are the expression of an opinion that the Parliament wishes to make known.”
“A resolution may subsequently serve to politically legitimize action by the member states or the institutions; it is intended to produce practical effects.”
“More importantly, it can express a pre-legislative intention that can later be used to justify binding acts. There is, therefore, no doubt that an act of the European Parliament represents the gateway to the heart of the normative system.”
David Sassoli, president of the European Parliament, is expected to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican this weekend.