EU abortionist agenda defeated for third time

Published 22 January 2014  |  
AP

A radical agenda to introduce mandatory sex education for under-fours, abortion on demand, and restrict freedom of conscience for doctors was rejected for the third time by the European Union last week.

Previous attempts by Portuguese MEP Edite Estrela and her allies to pass the set of policies into EU law have been met with Parliamentary defeats.

On this occasion, public objection also emerged, with a petition entitled "STOP Estrela Again!" receiving more than 26,000 signatures.

For the debate last Thursday, the policies were repackaged into a request from the Parliament that the Commission make a statement.

Such an idea had previously not worked because the issues were dismissed as ones that the EU did not have a say over. To get round this, Ms Estrela edited the request to frame it within the issue of non-discrimination, an issue the EU cares deeply about and has powers to deal with.

Under Parliamentary Rule 110, members of the Commission or the Council may make a statement at any time, provided they have permission from the President of the Parliament.

In this case, the Commission was invited by members of the Socialist and Democrats group in the Parliament to make a statement on the issues raised by "non-discrimination in the framework of sexual and reproductive health and rights".

The issues explored within this framework were identical to those discussed by the Estrela Agenda.

The concern of many groups was that under Rule 110, if such a statement is made the Parliament may conclude the debate by passing a "resolution".

If such a resolution was passed in this case, it would mean the European Parliament would be legally endorsing the policies of the Estrela agenda.

However, because the Socialist and Democrat Group had not officially requested a resolution when the statement from the commission was put on the plenary agenda for the Parliamentary session, no such resolution was passed in the end.

Furthermore, the statement that the European Commission did end up delivering on the matter pointed out that the issues discussed by the Estrela agenda were issues that the principle of subsidiarity left to the member states.

This decision mirrored ones that had been reached in Parliament on previous attempts to pass the Estrela agenda in 2013.

European Dignity Watch, one of the pressure groups that expressed concern at attempts to use Rule 110 to bring in the Estrela report through the backdoor, have said to Christian Today that they are "happy about this statement".

They point out that all future discussions of abortion, sex education, and all other Estrela report policies, are now officially classified as member state competences under the principle of subsidiarity, a position now sanctioned by the Commission.

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