The European Parliament has ignored the needs of children by adopting a human rights report that supports abortion access in the name of "human dignity" while encouraging efforts to redefine marriage, critics have said.

"Children are entitled to special care and assistance according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe affirmed March 12.

"Human rights are universal but the European Parliament has proven today that there is no common understanding of what human dignity is," the federation continued. "Europe does not need abortions, but better support for mothers and improved relationship and sexual education."

On Thursday the European Parliament adopted its annual report on global human rights. The document, known as the Panzeri Report, called on the European Union and its member states to "recognize the inalienable rights of women and girls" to "safe and legal abortion." The report also professed that "everyone has the right to life" and human dignity is "inviolable" and must be "respected and protected."

The Brussels-based organization Christian Action Research and Education criticized the self-contradictory nature of the resolution. It said the Panzeri Report "denied the most basic right to millions: the right to life." While the organization praised the report's efforts to help victims of violence, war, and religious persecution and its addressing of child labor, the death penalty and asylum seekers, these were "blighted" by the effort to make abortion a universal right.

The nature of marriage was also addressed in the report.

The resolution encouraged EU institutions and member states to "further contribute to reflection on the recognition of same-sex marriage or same-sex civil union as a political, social and human and civil rights issue."

It singled out for condemnation Moldova's constitutional support for marriage as a union of one man and one woman. An initial draft of the report also singled out Croatia, Slovakia, and Macedonia.

The Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe said the resolution's statement on marriage "threatens the right of children to have a father and a mother." It said children's best interest should be considered, and their needs "should be respected" and "cannot be neglected in favor of adults' desires."

The approval of the Panzeri Report follows quickly on another pro-abortion rights move in the international parliament.

On March 8 the European Parliament passed another resolution adopting the Tarabella Report, which stated that the legislative body "maintains that women must have control over their sexual and reproductive health and rights, not least by having ready access to contraception and abortion."

 The resolution said that the international body also supports actions to "improve women's access to sexual and reproductive health services."

The resolution was approved by a vote of 441 to 205, with 52 abstentions.
Supporters included the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The European People's Party, the largest group in the parliament, split its vote, according to the U.S.-based Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues.

Christian Action Research and Education said the report is supposed to focus on equal pay, equal rights, and "specific rights violations" that require EU intervention to promote women's interests.

 The organization said the report is merely the parliament's opinion, but that it will nevertheless be used to support "the ongoing push of the abortion lobby, destroying lives and harming women and their families."

For its part, the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe said the Tarabella Report is "contradictory." Although it reaffirmed the principle of subsidiarity, the report also tries to frame abortion as a "fundamental rights perspective."

The federation objected to the parliamentary report's criticism of national referenda on marriage and its promotion of same-sex "marriage," an issue which the European Union does not have competence to address.

More than 157,000 people have signed a petition against the two reports on the website