Ask EP By / May 30, 2022

Citizens’ enquiries on abortion and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The President of the European Parliament has recently received a large number of messages calling on her to defend pro-life positions, in particular following a suggestion by French President Emmanuel Macron to include the right to abortion in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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Citizens often send messages to the President of the European Parliament (or to the institution’s public portal) expressing their views on current issues and/or requesting action from the Parliament. The Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (AskEP) within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) looks into these issues and replies to the messages, which may sometimes be identical as part of wider public campaigns.

The President of the European Parliament has recently received a large number of messages calling on her to defend pro-life positions, in particular following a suggestion by French President Emmanuel Macron to include the right to abortion in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Citizens first began to write to the President on this subject in May 2022. In the past, the European Parliament has called on EU countries to safeguard individuals’ rights to make their own informed choices, while recognising that the EU has no direct powers to deal with sexual and reproductive health and rights in EU countries. President Metsola has indicated that she would defend Parliament’s position on this topic.

Please find below the main points of the reply sent to citizens who took the time to write to the President of the European Parliament on this matter (in English).

Main points made in the reply in English

During a press conference on 18 January 2022, President Metsola declared in relation to abortion ‘the positions of this House will be mine and I will promote them’.

On 24 June 2021, the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the European Union. In this resolution, the European Parliament pointed out that the EU has no direct powers to deal with sexual and reproductive health and rights in EU countries.

However, it called on EU countries to safeguard individuals’ rights to make their own informed choices in this area, to guarantee the rights to bodily integrity and personal autonomy, equality and non-discrimination, and to give people the means to exercise those rights. Parliament also urged EU countries to remove all legal, political, financial or other barriers that deny persons full access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Regarding your comments on French President Emmanuel Macron’s suggestion, we would like to highlight that modifying the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights requires the approval of all 27 EU countries.


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