Despite a petition signed by over 57,000 Europeans who asked the EU Parliament not to show support for abortion, the EP’s Women’s Rights Committee has recently approved the Tarabella Report on gender equality, which will be voted in the EP plenary session on March 10-11.
The report proposes that the European Parliament call on member states to support women’s access to abortion and contraception. Until now, abortion was considered a matter not regulated by the European Parliament. It was a matter regulated by each EU member state, according to the principle of subsidiarity.
The report initiator, social democrat Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella declared: „Regarding sexual and reproductive rights, this report is not for or against abortion. It is about equality and the right to decide, which is a fundamental right.”
In the wake of the committee vote, the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) launched a petition which asked the Members of European Parliament to respect the principle of subsidiarity regarding abortion and not impose member states how to regulate this issue.
As a response to this campaign, Romanian MEP Renate Weber has posted a declaration on her Facebook page:
“These days I have received from many Romanians the same standard message (which looked like an online petition) regarding the initiative report filed by Social-Democrat Marc Tarabella (Belgium) on gender equality in 2013. I was asked to reject the paragraph referring to abortion or vote against the entire report if this paragraph was adopted. The reason was to protect the principle of subsidiarity, which means leaving the decision to member states. Had I been a member of the Women’s Rights Committee (which I am not), I would have voted for the Tarabella Report. (…) I have always considered that women should have control over their reproductive and sexual rights. If we wanted to help them not to resort to abortion, we need to offer them proper sexual education, starting from school, we need to help them avoid unwanted pregnancy through any means available, including contraception, and not to push them to abortion as a family planning solution, as unfortunately happens in Romania. It’s true for all women, be they teenagers, adult women or married women.”
Citeste in limba romana declaratia eurodeputatei Renate Weber pe stiripentruviata.ro
As a final commentary to this, FamilyNews.ro needs to mention that abortion IS used as a family planning solution in the EU – not only in Romania. It is shown by a report issued last year by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and entitled “Women trying hard to avoid unwanted pregnancy”. This documents states that two thirds of the women seeking abortion were on a contraceptive plan when they got pregnant. This shows that sexual education which teaches contraceptive use is not the best family planning solution – for the simple reason that contraceptives have a failure rate which is higher than advertised.
The BPAS report says 40% of the women who chose to terminate their pregnancy said they were using the contraceptive pill. “Contraceptive pills have a ‘perfect use’ failure rate of just 1% when used exactly as instructed, but with ‘typical use’ around 9 in 100 women will become pregnant a year. Reasons for failure may include missed pills, stomach upsets, or taking other medications” the report says. Therefore, contraceptive failure rate is in practice ten times higher than as in (advertised) theory.