European Parliament rejects resolution on sexual and reproductive health rights

Today the plenary of the European Parliament rejected a report on sexual and reproductive health rights. The text called for access to safe and legal abortion, non-discrimination, and the right to access healthcare and sexuality education.

Edite Estrela MEPThe report was already sent back to its drafting committee once in October. The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality deleted some of its contents before sending it back to plenary, including in relation to LGBT people’s rights.

The newer version of the report was put to the vote today. A first attempt to replace the report by an alternative resolution failed, but a second alternative proposal by the EPP and ECR groups was adopted by a margin of seven votes (334 in favour of the new text, 327 against).

A short majority of MEPs replaced the extensive Estrela report of nearly 90 recommendations and opinions on sexual and reproductive health and rights with a unique paragraph:

Notes that the formulation and implementation of policies on [sexual and reproductive health rights] and on sexual education in schools is a competence of the Member States;

The new version of the report adds that the EU can still help Member States share good practices.

Edite Estrela MEP, author of the report and Member of the LGBT Intergroup, commented: “It’s shameful that in 2013, the European Parliament adopted a more conservative resolution than the previous text on this issue, adopted in 2002.”

“This shows how much work remains to defend the rights of women and minorities. This is a battle lost, not the war.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup and spokeswoman for the Greens/EFA on this subject, added: “I’m shocked and ashamed by this vote. By a very narrow margin, colleagues refused discussing and enhancing the rights of women and LGBT persons in detail.”

“This should be a reminder for all EU citizens who want to enjoy their rights: your vote in next year’s EU elections matter greatly.”

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