A petition called "My Voice, My Choice: For Safe And Accessible Abortion" has already reached nearly 100,000 signatures. EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ


Pro-abortion group wants 1 million signatures to force EC to take action


A European pro-abortion activists’ petition entitled My Voice, My Choice: For Safe And Accessible Abortion has already reached nearly 100,000 signatures in little over ten days.

Organisers hope to gather one million signatories over the coming months in a bid to pressure the European Commission to back abortion rights across the EU.

According to official information, the intention is to offer “the people of Europe the chance to make women’s lives freer, safer, and better; wherever they live in our union, whatever conditions they may find themselves in”.

Doubts have been expressed about the supposed independence of those behind the initiative.

One source close to the EC stated that, regarding abortion, “the Commission is using a legal trick to act where it has no competence”.

The EC’s Vice President for Values and Transparency, Commissioner Věra Jourová, reportedly approached her colleagues on April 10 with a “legal trick” aimed at circumventing restrictions on the body’s entry into the abortion debate.

While it is true that Brussels has no competence in this field and that any regulation regarding abortion is currently exclusively a national-level issue, it does have the power to allocate funds so that women may undergo abortions in Member States where it is allowed.

Article 168 – the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU – relates to the prohibition of direct interference from Brussels.

Article 168.7 of the Treaty states the EU may provide support to members but that its actions “shall respect the responsibilities of the Member States for the definition of their health policy and for the organisation and delivery of health services and medical care”.

Public EU funds could theoretically finance an abortion, while women who wish to have one would only have to pay for their own round-trip transport to a facility.

France recently approved the introduction of abortion as a constitutional right in a reform of its constitution, while the European Parliament voted on April 11 in favour of considering it a fundamental European right – although this is unlikely to be implemented as such modifications must be agreed unanimously among national capitals.

Pro-abortion activists have complained that in countries such as Italy, 60 per cent of gynaecologists do not perform abortions because of their “conscientious objections”.

In Spain, former equality minister Irene Montero wanted to bypass the Hippocratic Oath of doctors and force them to perform abortions at risk of being fired.

Poland will now be able to change the legal status of the practice of abortions under Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Government.