The European Parliament is demanding that the European Union impose the concept of ‘reproductive and sexual rights’ on all Member States and that foetal homicide be recognised as a human right. It does so despite the fact that Member States have never agreed to add this type of construct into international law, and despite the fact that the European Union has no competence in the field of human health policy. The European Parliament is to vote on the report on the 23rd of June. The Ordo Iuris Institute prepared an international petition on this matter, which was presented at the ‘Stop Matic Report’ International Coalition Conference.
“We would like to invite all non-governmental organisations, political leaders, scientists and citizens concerned about protecting fundamental human rights and the future of Europe to join our initiative. We must not allow the Union to unlawfully broaden its competences and to use its institutions in order to impose radical solutions on Member States,” comments Karolina Pawłowska, Director of the Ordo Iuris International Law Centre.
The report was approved by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament on the 11th of May. It was written by the Croatian socialist Predrag Fred Matić. A vote on a resolution on this matter is scheduled for the 23rd of June this year.
Both the Report and the draft resolution launch an unprecedented attack on human rights and freedoms, such as the right of self-determination or the freedom of speech. Both documents consider opposition to the concept of ‘reproductive and sexual rights’ as a violation of democratic values and call for limiting the right to express one’s doubts on this matter.
According to the EU Treaties, human health policy matters are reserved for the sole competence of Member States. This is confirmed by Articles 6 and 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The European Union only complements Member State actions in this area and cannot strive to harmonise the laws of the respective States. The European Commission has repeatedly confirmed that this is indeed the case.
Equally importantly, the two documents misrepresent the concept of ‘reproductive and sexual rights’ as a binding international legal obligation and an element of human rights, even though it has never actually been used in any binding act of international law. The Report also completely ignores the repeatedly expressed international opposition to abortion as a ‘human right’, and the lack of consent to the introduction of the term ‘reproductive and sexual rights’ in international instruments. It also mentions the Final Statement of the Nairobi Summit, which in itself was vigorously opposed by several dozen States.
The Ordo Iuris Institute and a coalition of organisations from other Member States have decided to submit a petition on this matter to the European Parliament. The petition highlights the fact that although resolutions are not binding laws, they may be used as a tool to exert unauthorised pressure on Member States. The authors of the petition call on the European Parliament to respect EU Treaties.
· At the request of the FEMM Committee (Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality), the European Parliament has focused on the impact of 'intimate partner' violence on women and children and on custody rights.
· During the current plenary session, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on a Texas state law restricting the practice of abortion.
· Representatives of the Ordo Iuris Institute took part in the meeting of the European Conservatives and Reformists Working Group on Institutional Reform.
• The European Commission has filed a number of charges against Poland.