The European Parliament entered the American debate on abortion on Thursday after EU lawmakers voted in favor of a motion criticizing America’s top court for its proposed decision to overturn the landmark case of Roe v Wade, which over the past 50 years has enshrined the legal right of American women to terminate their pregnancies.
This is the second time in less than a year since Parliament expressed reservations about the way abortion is treated across the Atlantic. In October last year, Parliament passed a motion calling for the repeal of Texas rules that imposed a de facto ban on abortion in the state. But the motion voted on Thursday is unusual because it weighs on a court ruling leaked by POLITICO, which has yet to be confirmed.
The last motion was adopted with 364 votes for, 154 against and 37 abstentions. He was supported by left-wing political groups as well as the centrist group Renew Europe. MPs from the largest group in parliament, the centre-right group of the European People’s Party, were allowed to vote according to their conscience, while lawmakers from the right-wing groups European Conservatives and Reformists and Identity and Democracy opted out. opposites.
An acrimonious debate preceded the vote as MEPs gathered in Strasbourg on Wednesday traded barbs.
Against the rules of the European Parliament, German MEP Terry Reintke of the Greens-European Free Alliance group spoke during the session on a scarf with a pro-abortion message engraved on it, citing a sore throat. She refused to remove it even at the request of the President of Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and had to leave the hemicycle after her intervention.
“The US Supreme Court’s draft opinion is a shock and a nightmare,” said Croatian MEP Predrag Matić of the Socialists and Democrats Group.
“The United States is no longer a colony ruled by Europe. Didn’t you know that? reacted German MEP Christine Anderson of the far-right group Identity, opposing the motion.
In the motion, Parliament “reminds the Supreme Court of the United States of the importance of upholding the historic case of Roe v. Wade” and calls on the US administration to enact federal laws to protect abortion rights nationwide.
It also draws attention to NGOs and “conservative American Christian right-wing think tanks” that fund anti-abortion groups around the world, and warns of a possible new wave of funding in the wake of the court decision.
Abortion is legal in most of the bloc, although the circumstances under which it is permitted vary by country. Malta and Poland are exceptions where it is either completely illegal or heavily regulated.
The subject has recently caught the attention of European legislators. Addressing the European Parliament in January, French President Emmanuel Macron said the right to abortion should be added to the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Recently, Poland’s health ministry announced a pregnancy database that opposition politicians say could be used to monitor women and enforce the country’s near-total abortion ban.
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