Ahead of the upcoming vote on 11 April in Brussels on whether to include the right to abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Bishops of the European Union (COMECE) reiterate their firm opposition to the proposition, and decry imposing ideologies.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

A human being, in any situation and at every stage of development is always sacred and inviolable, European Bishops have reaffirmed, adding that once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights.

The statement from the Bishops of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), was made ahead of the vote in the plenary session in Brussels on Thursday on the inclusion of the right to abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The Bishops’ statement comes the day after the publication of Dignitas infinita, a document of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith that describes abortion as a “grave and deplorable” practice in its list of violations of human dignity.

Goes against truly promoting women and their rights

The COMECE statement is titled “Yes to the promotion of women and the right to life, no to abortion and ideological imposition.”

The Bishops expressed their commitment to working for a Europe where women can live their maternity freely, and as a gift for them and for society, and where “being a mother,” is “in no way a limitation for personal, social and professional life.”

“Promoting and facilitating abortion,” they warned, “goes in the opposite direction to the real promotion of women and their rights,” as they reiterated that abortion “can never be a fundamental right.”

Fundamental for  all human rights

The right to life, the COMECE Bishops stated, “is the fundamental pillar of all other human rights, especially the right to life of the most vulnerable, fragile ad defenceless,” like the “unborn child in the womb of the mother, the migrant, the old, the person with disabilities and the sick.”

Recalling the Church’s clear stance on this, they insisted, that with “all force and clarity, even in our time,” it must be stated “that defending unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right.”

Once one becomes incapable of understanding unborn life as something invaluable, they warned, the foundations for the defence of human rights would always be “subject to the passing whims of the powers that be,” quoting Dignitas infinita.

The European Union, they suggested, “must respect the different cultures and traditions in the Member States and their national competences,” and “cannot impose on others, inside and outside its borders, ideological positions on the human person, sexuality and gender, marriage and family.”

Charter cannot include rights not recognized by all

“The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU cannot include rights that are not recognized by all and are divisive,” they stressed, as they observed there is no recognized right to abortion in European or International Law, and, “the way this issue is treated in the Constitutions and Laws of Member States varies considerably.”

The statement concluded with the EU Bishops observing that the Charter, in accordance with what is written in the Preamble, “must respect ‘the diversity of the cultures and traditions of the peoples of Europe,'” as well as the “constitutional traditions and international obligations common to the Member States.”

Following France’s inclusion

The vote for including this question in the EU Charter seemed to be a closed chapter, until it was brought back to life recently.

Following the inclusion of the right to abortion in the French Constitution on 4 March, the debate on introducing abortion among the fundamental rights of the EU has been reopened at European level.

Even though the resolution had already been tabled on 7 July 2022, and had elicited opposition of some member states, now Members of European Parliament have decided to relaunch the proposal, which will be the subject of a new vote on Thursday.

Vatican News

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