Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Important Vote Looming...

I received this information from SPUC. Amendments to oppose coercive abortion and sex-selective abortion in the European Union are to be voted on this Thursday (22nd October.)

CARE For Europe, along with other non-governmental organisations, is campaigning for specific wording to be included in the European Commission's annual budget for overseas development, to prevent any funds going to organisations or countries which are complicit in promoting family planning programmes which include an element of compulsion (eg. coercive abortion and involuntary sterilisation). This amendment was actually passed in 2007 and included in the 2008 budget. The pro-abortion lobby are now, however, saying that this amendment should be opposed, on the grounds that it is an attack on the so-called "right" to abortion. In fact, all that is being called for is that there should be no element of compulsion in these matters. Such compulsion is an abuse of human rights and makes women have something done to them that they have not freely chosen.

The amendment:

"Stresses that Community assistance should not be given to any authority, organization or programme which supports or participates in the management of an action which involves such human rights abuses as coercive abortion, involuntary sterilization or infanticide, especially where such actions apply their priorities though psychological, social, economic or legal pressure, thus finally implementing the specific Cairo ICPD prohibition on coercion or compulsion in sexual and reproductive health matters; calls on the Commission to present a report on the implementation of the EU's external assistance covering this programme."

Furthermore, another amendment supported by CARE for Europe and similar NGOs is against sex-selective abortion. This amendment reads:

"Projects funded by this budget title must not pursue gender-based eugenic discrimination, which is increasingly common in certain countries, or any other form of discrimination against girls (at any point after conception) and such projects must commit adequate resources to overcome the subsequent asymmetries for children conceived as a result of mass rape, including appropriate provision for their mothers [cf Opinion on "A Special Place for Children in EU External Action", § 9 and 13, EP committee for women's rights and gender equality, amendment tabled by Ana Maria Gomes (S-D, Portugal)]"

These amendments will be voted this Thursday 22nd October during the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg. Please write to your MEPs to ask them to support these worthy amendments. To find out who your MEPs are and how to contact them, please visit THIS SITE, and pick your region. For an easy way to email all your MEPs, please click HERE.

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