ECLJ: ABORTION – AN ENDLESS FIGHT
By: European Centre for Law and Justice
Photo: WA News
Abortion is at the heart of international news. Numerous initiatives, laws and decisions around the world prove it and illustrate the radical differences of approach.
In France, the situation has obviously become dramatic. The figures have just been published: 232.200 abortions have been officially registered for 2019, the highest number in 30 years. As the French leftist newspaper ” Libération” now acknowledges and as the ECLJ has been explaining for years in its research: “the data show a clear correlation between standard of living and recourse to voluntary termination of pregnancy.”
In France today abortion mostly concerns women already working and who feel compelled to have an abortion for economic reasons.
However, the French government has no intention whatsoever of seeking to reduce the number of abortions. On the contrary, the bioethics bill that was adopted in a second reading by the Assemblée nationale once again served to remove many “barriers” and “safeguards” that the Assembly Members (députés) had precisely erected barely 10 or 15 years ago.
It is one of the last laws protecting life that some Assembly Members (députés) tried to destroy. They passed an amendment allowing abortion up to birth on the grounds of “psychosocial” distress.
The Bill will go through a second reading at the Sénat, provides for the voluntary termination of pregnancy at “any time” if two physicians certify that continuing the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the woman’s health, “a risk that may result from psychosocial distress.”
As we pointed out in this joint op-ed published in Le Figaro: this notion is far too vague and subjective for a two physicians to seriously attest its strength or reality in a few minutes. Moreover, if a woman is in psychological and/or social distress, these are precisely two areas where society can provide her with more relevant help than abortion: psychological follow-up, social assistance, housing assistance… Allowing abortion “at any time”, i.e. until the day of the delivery, in response to psychosocial distress is clearly inappropriate. This law has been tabled in the Sénat for the second reading, and one can (still) hope that the senators will come back on this amendment.
Conversely, the Slovak Parliament debated on a legislative proposal to truly help women and protect life. As it stands, the proposal would increase social assistance to pregnant women, extend their cooling-off period and ensure better control in cases of abortion on medical grounds. We talk about this in detail in our latest program on RCF, which you can find here in Podcast or in video, in French only (15 minutes). Last week, the MPs postponed the vote on this draft legislation to another parliamentary, due to a lack of quorum.
Another illustration of this international fight is Poland. This country is today under sanction proceedings for violation of the Rule of law by the European Union and is being sued at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by a woman who complaint for not having been authorized to have an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The case pending at the ECHR concerns a pregnancy during which serious abnormalities were detected in the unborn child. They were confirmed at birth and the child died a few weeks after birth as a result of these deficiencies. The mother decided to sue the Polish clinic for forcing her to give birth to a disabled child, seeing him suffer and die, and preventing her from having an abortion.
The ECLJ was granted leave to intervene in the case and submitted its written observations to the Court (available here in French only).
Regarding the sanction procedure, due to the Polish Government’s fight against abortion and for the family, we invite you to read on our website the comprehensive article of our contributor Patrik Regalski who analyses the latest decisions of the European Parliament.
U. S. A.
Abortion is also at the heart of current events in the United States of America. Following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump nominated a new Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, whose appointment the Senate will have to confirm or not. This appointment is creating such a bustle because a more conservative Justice could significantly change abortion laws to better protect prenatal life.
Conversely, in El Salvador, pro-abortion associations are working for the legalization of post-natal infanticide. In fact, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights was referred to by women convicted and incarcerated for intentional homicide of their newborns. The facts of each case judged, corroborated by scientific evidence as well as testimonies, are deliberately distorted to conceal or minimize the deaths of newborns at the hands of their mothers. The killings of newborns are qualified by the Center for Reproductive Rights and its affiliate as “abortions”, “miscarriages” or “obstetric emergencies”.