Wednesday I wrote on my blog about the Tarabella report that will be discussed 20 January in the Women rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) in the European Parliament. Yesterday the Stop Tarabella relaunching Estrela! petition was launched. We invite citizens across Europe who wish to stand up for human dignity and respect for subsidiarity to sign this petition.
The Tarabella report is a part of the "Estrela report puzzle" and aims at promoting a "right to abortion" through a European Parliament resolution. Once again EU Citizens need to raise their voices to safeguard the principle of subsidiarity and prevent the newly elected European Parliament from adopting a report that would include a “right to abortion”.
On 10 Dember 2013 the European Parliament rejected the so called Estrela Report on “Sexual and reproductive health and rights” (SRHR).
In its place the Members of the European Parliament adopted a resolution that reaffirmed the principle of subsidiarity and clearly stated that “the formulation and implementation of policies on SRHR and on sexual education in schools is a competence of the Member States”.
The message is clear: the EU is not competent to decide on issues such as abortion or sexual education in schools, it is a national competence and by no means something to be decided on in Brussels.Hundreds of thousands of citizens opposed the Estrela Report in 2013! An important victory in favour of human dignity, subsidiarity and popular expression!
Important ground was won through this victory: thanks to the mobilisation of citizens across the European continent the European Parliament rejected a major attempt to promote a “right to abortion” at the EU level.
However, Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella from the Socialist group is currently challenging the principle of subsidiarity as regards “SRHR” by pushing one of the Estrela report’s main points, namely a “right to abortion”.
Mr Tarabella is the rapporteur of the annual European Parliament report on the equality between women and men in the European Union – 2013. An annual report which was rejected in 2014, then known as the “Zuber report”.
Mr Tarabella is leading an attempt to convince the European Parliament to accept the following provision: “The European Parliament (…) maintains that women must have control over their sexual and reproductive rights, not least by having ready access to contraception and abortion; accordingly supports measures and actions to improve women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services and inform them more fully about their rights and the services available; calls on the Member States and the Commission to implement measures and actions to make men aware of their responsibilities for sexual and reproductive matters”.
Mr Tarabella’s move is incoherent as the European Parliament already stated that there is no EU competence on the issue of abortion.
Nevertheless, during the meetings of the European Parliament Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee he has stated his determination to promote a “right to abortion”. It is therefore necessary to reaffirm what the European Parliament said on 10 December 2013.
We on citizens to make their voice heard and send a strong and united signal to the European Parliament through this petition ahead of the votes that will take place first in the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee on 20 January 2015, then during the European Parliament plenary.
You can sign the petition here.
An analysis of the issue of abortion and subsidiarity can be found here.