Tuesday

29th Nov 2022

Progressive MEPs propose Texan abortion doctors get EU refuge

  • Demonstrations for greater abortion rights in Poland also took place earlier this year (Photo: Łódzkie Dziewuchy Dziewuchom)
Listen to article

Progressive MEPs are piling on pressure for US state Texas to scrap its anti-abortion bill, with some proposing doctors seek refuge in Europe if necessary.

The moves by socialists S&D, liberal Renew Europe, the Greens, and the Left are part of a non-binding resolution to be voted on in the European Parliament on Thursday (7 October).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

All four groups in the EU Parliament have condemned the Texan abortion laws, also seen as an affront to gender equality by the US administration under president Joe Biden.

A motion floated by the Greens says EU member states should "offer a safe-haven for all medical professionals who might be at risk of legal or other form of harassment."

The Greens and the liberal Renew Europe are also demanding possible EU funding support for US-based civil society groups defending abortion rights.

In the opposing camp are the conservative ECR group, who tabled a counter motion demanding the EU stay out of US internal affairs when it comes to "ideological views".

The largest political family in the house, the centre-right EPP, have remained silent on the matter possibly because the issue is divisive among some of its members and because a separate EU-US debate had also been held.

The resolution was pushed by the socialists and greens, which had initially wanted it tabled in the last plenary.

The Texan bill, which was temporarily blocked by a federal US judge on Thursday, seeks to ban abortions approximately after six weeks of pregnancy, while incentivising others to sue anyone involved in carrying out the procedure.

Critics say the bill will de-facto end abortions in the state.

The US Supreme Court legalised abortion in the 1970s in a case known as Roe v. Wade, but this freedom is increasingly being challenged, in light of conservative judges appointed by former US president Donald Trump, who are now sitting on the bench.

It is not the first time the European Parliament has tabled resolutions on abortion.

Earlier this year, MEPs slammed Poland's near-total abortion ban and voted in favour of safer abortions over the summer, while Gibraltar held a referendum on its own laws.

And the EU Parliament passed a similar motion on abortion rights in El Salvador in late 2017.

MEPs slam Polish abortion ban: 'Women will suffer'

MEPs have condemned the near-total ban on the right to abortion in Poland, following the entry into force of the country's Constitutional Tribunal ruling - which makes 98 percent of all abortions carried out annually in the country illegal.

Stakeholder

'You'll never walk alone' - our message to women

Hundreds of thousands of brave Polish women took to the streets, repeating the message "you will never walk alone". We will not rest until Polish women enjoy the same rights as French, Spanish or Belgian women.

MEPs urge inclusion of abortion rights in EU charter

MEPs have recalled their demands to include the right to legal and safe abortion into the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, a day after French president Emmanuel Macron pledged to open such a debate in the EU Council.

Opinion

EU must integrate 'right to abortion' into treaties

The pushback against abortion is not happening in a vacuum. It is part of a global anti-gender trend, where transnational groups of fundamentalists support and embolden each other's actions. They are funded and active in the EU as well.

Socialists opposed parliament taking Qatar rights stand

The socialists in the European Parliament are leading compromise talks on human rights in Qatar despite voting against putting the issue to a plenary vote. The move comes after the Left demanded that the European Parliament take a stand.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Legal scholars: Prosecuting Putin 'legally problematic'
  2. A missed opportunity in Kazakhstan
  3. EU's Hungary funds, China, energy, and Frontex This WEEK
  4. Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges
  5. The 'proof' problem with EU sanctions — and how to fix it
  6. The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?
  7. Enough talk, only rights can eliminate patriarchal violence
  8. Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us