Press releases


Friday 04.04.2014 - 15:00 pm - Public action to defend abortion right in Europe
Place du Luxembourg in front of the European Parliament Brussels

[4 April 2014] Women’s futures under threat: public action to defend abortion right in Europe

On Friday 4 April 2014, more than 50 national women’s rights organisations, members of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) representing a total of more than 2000 organisations from all over Europe will be in Brussels to stand up together for the right to abortion.

• The right to take informed decisions about one’s own life is a basic human right and a crucial matter for gender equality.
• Recent developments in EU member states are detrimental to women’s rights.
o In Spain in December 2013, the Council of Ministers approved a draft bill aiming at reforming the current law on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). If approved, abortion would be allowed in Spain only in the case of rape or if the pregnancy poses a serious physical or mental health risk to women. This would only cover 8% of the current cases of abortion.
o In Lithuania, at the end of the spring session (May-June) the Lithuanian Parliament will vote on the adoption of the draft law on “Law on the protection of a life in a pre-natal phase” and accompanying legislative projects, otherwise known as the “abortion ban bill”. The law considers abortion a criminal act punishable for up to three years imprisonment.
• The European Citizen’s Initiative One of Us calls on the EU to stop funding research activities that destroy human embryos and to stop all EU development aid for maternal health, on the argument that maternal health can on occasion lead to the facility of abortion services. This will immediately and substantially increase the number of unsafe abortions in the developing world, and thus increase the number of resulting horrific injuries and deaths.
• The cases of individual women who have suffered the consequences of denied abortions in Europe and around the world may never be forgotten. The EWL refers to Savita Halappanavar (Ireland), Alicja Tysiac (Poland), Daniela (Spain), Valentina (Italy) but also to Beatriz in El Salvador and many others.

It is European elections time. 7 weeks before these elections, the EWL urges decision makers to recall that gender equality is an essential part of democracy, social justice, human rights and dignity. Find here the EWL Manifesto “Act for her future, commit for gender equality!”. The European Institutions have the power and should take the responsibility to create meaningful change towards equality for all, now and in the future.

• 15:00h: Gathering on the square of Place du Luxembourg, Brussels.
• 15:15h: Picture opportunity: all participants will form together a big ♀shape and will hold balloons and a banner to represent their country and organisation.
• 15:25h: Speech by Viviane Teitelbaum, president of the European Women’s Lobby.
• 15.30h: We will speak out for the individual women who have suffered the consequences of denied abortions in Europe: Savita Happanavar (Ireland), Alicja Tysiac (Poland), Daniela (Spain), Valentina (Italy), Marie (France).
• 15:40h: A delegation will leave to meet the Cabinet of President Van Rompuy and hand over a version of the articles related to gender equality in the European Union Treaties. Also on Wednesday 9 April, a EWL delegation will meet Ms Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission.
• 15:40h: Participants will distribute to the public flyers on the action and the EWL Manifesto for the Elections.
• 15:55h: Event closed with the sound of our whistles calling for action towards gender equality.

Opportunities for interviews:
• Viviane Teitelbaum, President of the EWL and of Conseil des Femmes francophones de Belgique (CFFB)
• Pierrette Pape, Acting coordinator of the European Women’s Lobby

For more information, you can:
• Visit EWL website :
• Follow EWL through Twitter : @EuropeanWomen

For more information, interviews, background or visual materials, please contact:
• Elvira Buijink, EWL Media and Communication Officer,, +32 02/210 04 40, +32 (0)496 86 48 26
• Irene Rosales, EWL Policy Officer,, +32 02/210 04 25, +32 (0)479 49 61 64
• Pierrette Pape, Acting Coordinator of the European Women’s Lobby,, +32 (0)2/210 04 26

Note to editors:
The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) is the largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the European Union (EU), working to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men. EWL membership extends to organisations in all 28 EU member states and three candidate countries, as well as to 20 European-wide organisations, representing a total of more than 2000 associations.
More information:

Latest video

EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

Facebook Feed

Get Involved