• A debate was held in the European Parliament concerning the ‘Matić report’, which claims abortion is a human right and calls for limiting the freedom of conscience and banning any criticism of the ideological concept of ‘sexual rights’.
• The ‘Matić report’ was widely opposed by the civic society. Thousands signed petitions against the report and dozens of non-government organisations joined a coalition to have the report rejected by the EP.
• The EP rejected the motion to stop work on the report on the grounds of violation of the principle of subsidiarity and two alternative resolution proposals.
• The EP adopted the Matić report by 378 to 255 votes, with 42 abstentions.
“Following yesterday’s vote, the European Parliament is left with a radical and ideological resolution that has no legal effect. The Matić report is a clear declaration of the political direction chosen by the European Parliament”, says Anna Kubacka, analyst of the Ordo Iuris International Law Centre.
Radical Matić report
For several months, numerous NGOs and the EU society followed the work on the so-called Matić report, i.e. a draft resolution accompanied by a report by Predrag Fred Matić, the Croatian socialist and current Member of the European Parliament. The Ordo Iuris Institute wrote about the controversial claims made in the Matić report and the fierce opposition it triggered across the EU.
Efforts to have the report rejected
In order to prevent adoption of Matić’s ideological resolution by the EP, Members from the ECR group submitted a motion to reject the report as inadmissible on the grounds that it violates the principle of subsidiarity. However, the motion was rejected by 391 to 280 votes even before yesterday’s debate.
Members from the ECR and PPE groups also submitted two alternative motions for a resolution. Adoption of any of the two amendments, which are in fact entirely new texts of a resolution, would prevent the Matić report from being voted on.
Voting on the drafts started at 9.30 and the results were announced at 13.00; as it turned out, the ECR motion was rejected by 402 votes ‘against’ to 267 votes ‘for’. The PPE motion was also rejected by 373 votes ‘against’ to 288 votes ‘for’.
The last chance to reject the Matić report was the vote on the report itself. Yet, according to the results announced at 18.15, 378 Members of the European Parliament voted ‘for’ the resolution, 255 ‘against’ it and 42 abstained from voting.
Consequences of adopting the report
Adoption by the EP of the resolution proposed by Matić is, in the first place, a proof of the Parliament’s detachment from the reality and law. Yet, importantly, different political groups have united in opposition to the ideological offensive. A strong coalition of NGOs from all over Europe and a large number of Members of the European Parliament representing different political options has been formed. Although both motions for alternative resolutions were rejected, the distribution of votes and similar results of the votes on both amendments show that, despite other differences, various groups are eager to oppose the leftist offensive.
“I am pleased that the difference in the number of votes ‘for’ and ‘against’ in the final vote is relatively small compared to the previous votes and has the potential to continue shrinking in future important votes. All of this gives hope for the future”, adds Anna Kubacka.
• The European Parliament supported proposals for changes to EU treaties.
· The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has issued a statement that the right to abortion is a human right and derives from international law.
· Accordingly, this body recommends that all states parties decriminalise and legalise abortion and provide 'gender' sensitive education on 'sexual and reproductive health' and rights in this area.
· The Peruvian Congress has passed a law recognising certain rights of unborn children.
· According to the act, the conceived child is "a subject of rights with the full status of a human person". Among other things, it has the right to "develop freely in the womb".
· Until now, the rights of unborn children were not mentioned in a separate act, but in the Peruvian Constitution and civil legislation.
· A few days ago, numerous news outlets revisited the case of a seriously ill eight-month-old girl, Indi Gregory - a British citizen - against whom the Supreme Court of that country recently ruled to disconnect her life support equipment.
· The parents have not given up their fight for the child's life, and last week it was reported that the girl had been granted Italian citizenship and the prospect of continuing treatment offered by the Vatican's Bambino Gesù hospital.