The so-called “Matić Report” on “the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the frame of women’s health in the European Union,” has attracted little media coverage since it was submitted to the European Parliament on March 25, despite its potential for reframing abortion as a human right.
Yet this text — which will be voted on Wednesday at the European Parliament plenary session — could have a decisive and long-lasting impact on the European ethical approach to life issues.
This warning was sounded by the pro-life advocates of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) during a June 3 conference entitled “Defeat the Matić Resolution and Protect Unborn Children.”
According to ECLJ General Director Grégor Puppinck, who spoke with the Register, this text has a foundational dimension especially for the promotion of abortion in Europe. If it is adopted, the Matic Resolution will serve as a reference for the European Commission’s action in the future, he said, and subsequently at national levels as well.
Introduced by center-left Croatian MEP Perdrag Matić, the dense and exhaustive text introduces a global “right to abortion,” which would have the effect of limiting member states’ sovereignty with regards to health questions. Among the report’s other contentious provisions are its calling into question health care professionals’ rights to conscientious objection, the promotion of universal access to modern contraceptive methods, prenatal screening, as well as assisted reproductive technologies (ART) for all people, single or married, regardless of sexual orientation.
The manner this resolution addresses these sensitive issues also has raised the concern of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), which released a position paper June 17 expressing several objections ahead of the final vote.
After noting “with regret” that the draft resolution “does not reflect the tragedy and complexity of the situations in which mothers considering aborting their unborn child find themselves,” and that it “negates the fundamental right to conscientious objection, which is an emanation of freedom of conscience as foreseen by Article 10.1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,” the COMECE position paper denounced the Matić Report’s violation of the principle of subsidiarity.
In fact, regulations regarding health care and the protection of human life do not fall within the competences of the European Union and are left to the responsibility of the various member states.
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