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Europeans Tell Macron Abortion is Not a Right by Bridget Ryder

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Europeans Tell Macron Abortion is Not a Right

Two million Europeans went on record March 15th to denounce President Emmanuel Macron’s stand on abortion as a human right.

When Macron assumed the rotating presidency of the EU this past January, he used his inaugural address to declare his intention to add “the right to abortion” to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. The latest pushback is prodigious.

This past Tuesday, One of Us European Federation, chaired by Jaime Mayor Oreja, published a letter to the French President condemning his imposition of a “merely ideological vision” of abortion. 

The letter entitled “The European Union: war, abortion and the French presidency,” was signed by a hundred organizations from fifteen European countries, including Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Luxembourg, and Hungary.

“We, European citizens who signed the ONE OF US Initiative (the most successful European Citizens’ Initiative with almost 2 million signatures), strongly reject this proposal,” the letter states.  

The target of One of Us’s objections is Macron’s use of political ideology to justify mandating legal abortion throughout the EU, without regard for documents that have been voluntarily circulated and signed by member states declaring their opposition to an EU-applicable policy. The letter acknowledges, and chides, the powerful lobbies behind Macron’s effort.

“It is is a mockery of democracies that, in the exercise of their sovereignty, have declared, based on scientific evidence and not by mere will, that abortion is the death of a human being and therefore violates human rights,” the Federation told Macron in the letter. “The imposition of a merely ideological vision of human rights leads us to betray them and, ultimately, leads to their elimination.”

Macron’s declaration violates several European treaties, which the letter points out.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, ensures the recognition, as well as the universal application of the right to life and “the inherent dignity of every human being,” regardless of whether born or in gestation. The letter also cites the Rome Convention of 1950 and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN in 1989, which establishes that “the child … needs special protection … in particular, adequate legal protection before and after birth.” 

Human life, the letter states, begins at the moment of conception, elaborating that the science has demonstrated that after the fusion of gametes, there is no substantial difference in the human being’s creation, only developmental changes in the zygote, the foetus, and the newborn.

“If biologically it is in fact a human life, a living human being, how, from the presidency of the European Union, which you represent today, do you not only refuse to protect it, but propose to eliminate it?” the letter questions. “This fundamental anthropological error, which consists in making the destruction of human life a value, proposes elevating a tragedy, such as abortion, to the category of law.”

The Federation insists that Macron protect women. “Abortion eliminates the unborn child and also abandons the woman in her motherhood, offering no other alternative than to force her to eliminate her unborn child,” the letter states. “Women must be protected during maternity, and this is what we European citizens demand, the protection of women at a stage of their lives in which support is the true action that legislation, politics, and society must offer.” 

“What is proposed by Mr. Macron is the absolute abandonment of women and the elimination of a new member of our society that deserves our respect and protection,” it adds.

One of Us concluded its address to Macron with an appeal to honest and just service to the European community: 

The civil society that we represent demands that public powers and institutions work not to support certain and dangerous ideologies, but rather for the right of all to physical and moral integrity, for respect for democracy, and ultimately for the good of all of us who share a common civilization and future.

The open letter is part of the Federation’s strategy to confront the current push within EU institutions to enshrine abortion as a right that started with the Matic report, approved by the EU Parliament in 2021. The open letter to Macron is just the latest means used by the Federation to ensure that abortion is not named a human right, confident that if European citizens rally, abortion will not be left to ideologies and lobbies.

Bridget Ryder is Spain-based writer. She has written on politics, environment, and culture for American and international publications. She holds degrees in Spanish and Catholic Studies.

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