European lawmakers this month will vote on a measure that promotes abortion as a fundamental human right, while taking aim at the conscientious objection rights of pro-life doctors and health workers.
Critics see the move as an attempt to dictate abortion policy to individual European Union governments, despite an acknowledgement by leading E.U. institutions that there is no consensus on the matter across the 28 member-states.
The controversial draft report, which is being promoted by socialist members of the European Parliament (MEPs), was passed last month by the legislature’s committee on women’s rights and gender equality.
According to supporting documents, 20 E.U. member-states legally permit abortion on demand, while six others have limitations which are either interpreted broadly (Britain, Finland, Cyprus) or restrictively (Ireland, Poland, Luxembourg). Malta prohibits all abortions. (The 28th and newest member, Croatia, had not joined the E.U. when the legislation was being drafted.)
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