Pablo Casado’s PP once again expresses itself in the European Parliament against abortion and women’s reproductive rights. The MEP Isabel Benjumea has taken advantage of her speech in the plenary session of the European Parliament to charge against “the star proposal” of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to include abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union.
Macron calls for including abortion in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
“Abortion is not a right”, said Benjumea, “Europe cannot bet on death, it must bet on life and protect the weakest, in this case the unborn”.
Benjumea has reproached that “while Europe suffers the umpteenth wave of infections, the European Parliament, at the proposal of the Socialist Group, dedicates the first debate of the year to abortion.” In fact, it would be the third debate of the first plenary session of the year –discounting those held in committees–, after the one held on Wednesday morning with Emmanuel Macron and on Wednesday afternoon on the Digital Services Law. Apart from the one held on Tuesday morning to elect a new presidency of the European Parliament.
“While European citizens try to overcome the catastrophic consequences of this nightmare called a pandemic”, continued the PP MEP, “President Macron presented yesterday [por el miércoles] as the star proposal of his presidency, the inclusion of abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU”. “What message are we conveying to citizens?”, he asked himself: “This Parliament commits enormous irresponsibility, confusing our priorities and not being at the height of the historical moment that we have to live”.
Benjumea added: “Abortion is not a priority, nor a conquest, nor a celebration. And, above all, abortion is not a right. Abortion implies the loss of a life and is a failure not only for the woman, but for all of us as a society”.
“Those who fill their mouths with feminist proclamations, those who present themselves as defenders and spokespersons for women, as if women were a homogeneous and weak group that we need their protection”, affirmed Benjumea, “the same ones who instead to rejoice because the new president of Parliament is a woman and they try to delegitimize her for defending life and motherhood, these are the same ones who encourage women in one of the most vulnerable moments of their lives to opt for the easy way out and then wash your hands and leave them to their fate”.
And he has ruled: “No, Europe cannot bet on death. Europe must always bet on life. Europe must always protect the weakest, in this case the unborn.”
Abortion as a fundamental EU right
This Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron presented his priorities for the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU at the plenary session in Strasbourg. And among the refounding elements of the European promises defended by the French president, he has asked for the updating of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union to include the environment and abortion. The Charter of Fundamental Rights was adopted two decades ago, in December 2000, when the president of the European Parliament was a French conservative, Nicole Fontaine, although it did not become binding until 2009 with the Lisbon Treaty.
This Wednesday the president of the European Parliament was another conservative, but Maltese, Roberta Metsola, who has repeatedly voted against abortion and women’s reproductive rights hand in hand with Casado’s PP. And before her, 24 hours after being elected with the votes of popular, socialists, liberals and ultra-conservatives, Macron has called for the inclusion of abortion in the EU Bill of Rights, a symbolic gesture that portrays the reality of countries like Malta or Poland, although the interruption of pregnancy is national competence and there are countries that have established exceptions to parts of the Charter itself.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights is a catalog of human rights of the EU with 50 articles with substantive rights and principles, and four articles with general provisions. Member States have a duty to respect rights whenever they act within the scope of binding EU law. As it is linked to the Lisbon Treaty, a reform of the treaties would be necessary to modify the Charter, which requires unanimity in the Council – the governments, including anti-abortion countries.
Some reforms that Macron wants to promote in more areas, hand in hand with the Conference on the Future of Europe that is taking place, to also include that the European Parliament has legislative initiative – until now it is a co-legislative body with limited initiative.