(Brussels, 22 October 2013) This week, the European Parliament has decided not to vote on a non-binding report on reproductive and sexual health rights, but to refer it back to committee.
The vote scheduled the 22nd on the non-binding resolution on sexual and reproductive health and rights, drawn up by Edite Estrela (S&D, PT), did not take place as MEPs voted by a slim majority to refer it back to the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality committee for further deliberation.
The EWL is concerned about this political sign given to all women and girls in Europe: despite the consensus gained in FEMM Committee amongst all major political groups, very conservative forces try to interfere to refuse to guarantee women’s rights in the EU. The EWL hopes that the FEMM Committee will confirm its progressive position on sexual and reproductive health and rights and would like to express its support to Edite Estrela MEP, rapporteur of the report.
However, women’s organisations want to express their support to all the MEPs who voted against a Motion for a Resolution, which contained anti-choice statements and attacks on women’s rights. By rejecting this motion with an overwhelming majority, the MEPs from all major political groups gave a signal that a strong message can come out of the European Parliament, promoting women’s rights and their full enjoyment of the highest standards of sexual and reproductive health.
In this context, the EWL wants to send a strong message to all MEPs, from all political groups and countries: in the 21st century, we won’t achieve equality between women and men if we are not committed to full sexual and reproductive health rights for all women in Europe. The EWL hopes that the European Parliament sees fit to support real equality for all men and women in Europe. The EWL calls on all progressive partners to disseminate the attached document presenting 5 key reasons why vote for the report, to all MEPs and engage in a constructive discussion towards gender equality and the protection of women’s rights.
Read various press releases on the vote:
- S&D group - rapporteur Edite Estrela MEP: "By not respecting the outcome of the vote in parliamentary committee, the conservatives want to set women’s rights back 30 years".
- Greens group video - Ulrike Lunacek MEP: "We will continue to fight for women’s rights".
- GUE/NGL group - Mikael Gustafsson MEP: "This is a dark day for those who believe that sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to achieving gender equality in the EU and beyond."
- European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT rights
- EP working group on reproductive health, HIV/Aids and development: press release by IPPF-EN, DSW, MSI, EPF and the Centre for Reproductive Rights - Mikael Gustafsson MEP: "Those who are so against the necessary and progressive measures put forward in this report are living in the dark ages. They have shown that intolerance and shouting at others are their preferred methods".
- European Humanist Federation
You can find here the names of MEPs who voted in favor or against the referral of the report to the FEMM Committee.
Read the EP press release here.