The European Commission could exploit a "legal trick" to enable it to fund abortions across the EU, those within the body are said to believe. (EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET)


Exclusive: Brussels ‘plotting ways to fund abortions across Europe’


Brussels is looking at ways to fund abortions across the continent, according to a report from a behind-closed-doors meeting.

European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, is said to have floated a “legal trick” to her colleagues with the aim of getting around restrictions on the body entering the debate with its cash reserves.

Speaking to Brussels Signal, a source close to the EC said Jourová had spoken on the issue of the Commission supporting abortion at an internal meeting of the College of Commissioners on April 10.

At the closed-door gathering, she is allegedly said to have reassured her colleagues that — despite the prohibitions currently in place — it would be legal for the Commission to back a citizen-led pro-choice project aimed at funding abortions throughout the continent.

The official cited private advice from the EC’s Legal Service which said that while the Commission did not have the power to legislate on abortion, funding such procedures would likely fall within its remit.

“The Commission is using a legal trick to act where it has no competence,” the source said.

After the meeting, the body went on to release a public statement announcing that it would be registering a campaign project ‘My Voice, My Choice: For Safe And Accessible Abortion’ as a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI). Its stated aim is the EU funding of terminations “for anyone in Europe who still lacks access to safe and legal abortion”.

As an ECI, the project now has the right to force the EC to “react” to its demands should it receive sufficient written support from citizens.

Explaining the decision, the EC insisted it approved the project given that it does not involve a push for abortion legalisation across Europe, but merely the funding of abortions within the bloc.

“The initiative does not concern the granting of a right to abortion at EU level,” it said, adding that the decision to grant the project ECI status was “of a legal nature” and “does not prejudge the final legal and political conclusions of the Commission”.

When approached for comment, Jourová’s Cabinet repeated the claims made in the EC’s public press release while refraining from commenting on any element involving the VP.

There are increasing EU attempts to see abortion legalised across the bloc.

At a sitting of the European Parliament on April 11, MEPs voted in favour of a resolution calling for terminations to be added to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

The non-binding vote also called for so-called “anti-choice groups” who campaign against abortion to be stripped of any and all EU funding.

“Denying the right to abortion is a violation of women’s sexual and reproductive rights and a form of gender-based violence,” Swedish MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke said following the vote.

“It is high time that we follow France’s good example and constitutionally protect abortion rights across the EU.”