Wednesday, November 2, 2016

THE PRO-ABORTION LOBBY SHOWS ITS TRUE FACE But... what should be our answer?

The issue of abortion came again in the forefront recently. In the Polish Parliament, there was a debate on a Bill for a stricter ban on abortion. Of course, the pro-abortionists used this opportunity to criticize this effort and to frame the people who want to protect the life of the unborn. Interestingly, they are also openly proclaiming that abortion is an EU competence neglecting the legal limitations of the EU. One week before, another meeting was organized in the European Parliament by the S&D Group where they discussed about what to do with doctors or midwifes who can not perform abortions because of their conscience. The freedom to choose does not seem to be valid for doctors with another worldview. 

That's why they are pushing them to act against their conscience. The pro-abortionists or the so-called, "freedom to choose" movement showed its real face going against freedom and against democratic restraints. They believe that other opinions or views should be restrained legally and people should be pushed to act against their conscience even if other solutions are possible. Why? Because the pro-abortionists do not like to have space for people with another worldview. Therefore I would propose them to change the latest logo of the pro-abortionists movements with the title "All of Us" into "All for us" which probably would fit much better with their aims. 

Polish bill on a stricter ban on abortion
The Polish bill has been initiated by  the Stop Abortion initiative that gathered some 450000 signatures. Abortion is already banned in Poland in a large extent but the Stop Abortion initiative wanted the ban extended to all cases except in those where the mother's life is in danger. However, due to big mobilization efforts by pro - abortion lobbyists, the bill was finally rejected. The debate in Poland stirred a heated debate in the European Parliament. The left-liberal majority tried to push their agenda in Poland and in the EU, while it is known and affirmed by different EU Commissioners that abortion and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHS) are not EU competences. This was clearly shown also by the majority of the European Parliament in the final vote on the notorious Estrela report in 2014.

Therefore, the ECPM MEPs were among the first to condemn these efforts in a joint statement they published. In this statement, they underline that "First of all, the EU is not competent to speak on the issue of abortion, as the European Commission has repeatedly confirmed. Furthermore, whereas article 2(1) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which states that 'everyone has the right to life', is violated in almost every EU country, Poland is one of the few European countries left that implement it in its broadest form, namely from conception until natural end." The statement underlines that "even those who do not agree with that decision should remember that this is a part of the democratic legal order of the sovereign Republic of Poland".

To avoid the legal limitations of the European Union to interfere on abortion and SRHR, pro-abortionists simply claim that abortion is part of "medical services". This was also what Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld tried (ALDE) to explain in a recent Twitter discussion I had with her. She quoted article 168 of the EU Treaty on public health policies claiming that abortion is according to her a part of public health (she wrote: abortion is health policy like fighting cancer, alzheimer, obesity...) and therefore an EU competence. This specific article does not make any reference to abortion. That abortion is part of public health policies is only her interpretation that is not shared by many of the doctors claiming that abortion is the destruction (killing) of life

I also cited a response by a representative of the European Commission to a written question in the European Parliament on the issue. In this response, the Commission stated that "no common view exists in the EU Member States regarding sexual and reproductive rights". In the same statement, it was reaffirmed that "Member States are responsible for the definition of their health services and medical care. As such, sexual and reproductive rights fall under the exclusive responsibility of Member States".  

I underlined to Mrs In't Veld that it is her own right to have another opinion on abortion. It's not her right to dictate it on other countries, overstepping EU competences. When she answered me that she likes to debate with me but that she has no time for "silly games and dishonesty" I answered that "overstepping EU competences is not a silly game it is a disrespect for debates with other opinions and democratic limitations.

Clearing the Conscience
There are also efforts nowadays to undermine the right of healthcare professionals to be exempted from performing abortions and follow their conscience. On the 28th of September, a hearing took place in the European Parliament with the title "When conscientious objection clashes with women's sexual and reproductive health and rights and LGBTI rights." In this hearing, Sophie In't Veld expressed the view that the right to conscientious objection is a fundamental right, but not an absolute right. She also argued that it needs a regulatory framework when it collides with the rights of other people. The main aim of this event was to state that the right to conscientious objection of healthcare professionals should be limited because people are free to choose their careers and jobs and they know that certain jobs will require that they do abortions. So with other words: If you want to become a midwife then you must be obliged to do abortions. If you have problems with your conscience, don't become a midwife.... So there is no space for people with another view on life and death. In fact, there are many cases where midwifes in Europe are forced to perform abortions or are under threat of losing their jobs when they are not complying. Last year, two Swedish midwives, fully licensed and competent were excluded from working in the Swedish health care system because the Swedish authorities refused to allow freedom of conscience in their workplace. 

However, the right to conscientious objection is a vital and fundamental human right, upholding the right to act according to one’s deeply held convictions. The right is protected in the domestic law of liberal democratic societies as well as in international law. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “all human beings are endowed with reason and conscience.” Additionally, Article 18 states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;The right to conscientious objection of healthcare professionals has been also discussed in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe  on many occasions with the most notable being the Resolution adopted in 2010 titled “The right to conscientious objection in lawful medical care”  which states the following: “No person, hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia or any act which could cause the death of a human foetus or embryo, for any reason.” 

The ECPM Heroes of Life Award
We in ECPM have decided not to destroy but to choose and to celebrate life. ECPM MEP Arne Gericke (ECR) organized on the same day of the "Clearing the conscience conference" a much more important event: an award ceremony in the European Parliament for four midwifes that refused to perform abortions and subsequently lost their jobs in a German hospital. They all now work in a private maternity clinic that has since 2007 brought 400 people in the world. In a short greeting to them, I told them that although they were under heavy pressure to act against their conscience, they decided to choose life by remaining faithful to the traditional role of midwifes: to protect and to welcome life, caring both for the mother as well as the child. They did that because they saw every birth as a celebration of the welcoming of life. 

This is also  ECPM's response to the aggressive efforts of the pro - abortion lobby. We do not see abortion as an opportunity for attacks or name-calling. Instead we choose to celebrate life and show that it is the most precious gift bestowed to us by our creator. We also call pro-abortionists to respect the diverse opinions within the EU, the individual freedoms of doctors and midwifes and the democratic limitations or pressures within countries, doctors, midwives as well as everyone who chooses to respect human dignity and do not want to destroy human dignity, but to celebrate life as a precious gift.

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