European Union lawmakers passed a resolution on Thursday pressuring the bloc’s 27 countries to recognise abortion as a “human right.”
The resolution passed the European Parliament on June 24 with 378 votes in favour, 255 against and 42 abstentions.
Although the non-binding resolution has no legal power to force governments to change their abortion laws, it will be used to pressure countries where it is still illegal to kill unborn babies, along with countries with restrictions preventing women from doing so in all circumstances.
These countries include Andorra, Malta, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Poland, and San Marino.
Abortion is illegal in all circumstances in Andorra, Malta, and San Mario. In Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Poland abortion is only allowed when the mother’s life or health is at risk or if the baby’s father had sexually assaulted the mother.
The text, drafted by Predrag Fred Matić, a Croatian Socialist MEP, also claims the “conscience clause,” which allows doctors to abstain from the killing “on grounds of religion or conscience,” leads to the “denial” of medical care and “endangers women’s lives and rights.”
“This vote marks a new era in the European Union and the first real resistance to a regressive agenda that has trampled on women’s rights in Europe for years,” Matić said in a statement.
The resolution also demands more progressive sexual education for young children.
In Poland, pro-life advocates established a petition opposing the bill, describing it as a “blow to fundamental human rights, including the protection of life and the sovereignty of the Member States.”