EGP Resolution adopted at the 6th EGP Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2 - 4 December 2022
Right to abortion is a human right. It is under attack, let’s fight for it!
While reactionary forces are rising globally, including within the European Union, sexual and reproductive health and rights are under heavy attack.
Among these rights, the right for and access to safe and legal abortion, achieved through constant feminist struggles, remains unsatisfactory in most EU countries. It lacks a legal frame, is under constant pressure, and the target of attacks from anti-choices and anti-rights movements. These attacks are part of long-term and systemic strategies, aiming at progressively deteriorating this right, including through passing regressive abortion laws, organizing global attacks on constitutional rights and rule of law, reducing adequate financing of healthcare systems providing as prerequisite to claim this right.
As a result, the scope of abortion rights and its effectiveness at the global level is declining at an alarming rate.
These attacks put lives in danger. Restrictive abortion laws do not reduce the number of abortions but increase the number of unsafe abortions. As a matter of fact, 45% of abortions in the world are not carried out safely, which leads to one woman dying every nine minutes after an illegal abortion procedure. There are additional risks when abortion does not form part of reproductive
healthcare, because women in need of life-saving procedures face health consequences such as acquiring infections, suffer internal organ penetrations or sepsis which may result in dying of septic shock.
This has real-world consequences and has been observed recently in Poland. While Malta’s lack of holistic reproductive healthcare came into view in summer 2022 when a woman, Andrea Prudente, had to be airlifted to Spain in order to have to a life-saving abortion.
The fights for the right to abortion, for reproductive rights and for disability justice share the same objective: the right to bodily autonomy and self-determination. Access to abortions and contraceptives are necessary for disabled people, yet they are often denied such healthcare. Meanwhile, forced sterilisation deeply impacts disabled people and other marginalised groups such as trans people and people of colour.
These attacks worsen social injustice. When abortion is illegal and criminalized, vulnerable groups face higher barriers to manage unwanted pregnancies and access abortion. As a consequence, poorer people, vulnerable, and marginalized groups face greater danger when confronted with an unwanted pregnancy.
These attacks are also part of a wider political strategy to dismantle democratic societies based on individual rights and freedoms, especially women’s and minority rights and freedoms.
As European greens, we place fighting for the right to safe and legal abortion at the core of our political project, because our political project is based on bodily autonomy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, social justice, and democracy.
As European Greens, we consider that is the fundamental right of anyone who can become pregnant to be able to get a legal safe abortion, should they need or want one. This bodily autonomy is a fundamental right that needs to be guaranteed, protected, and fought for.
We believe that legal abortions, like other healthcare, needs to be safe and accessible and that this should be the case before, during and after the procedure. In addition to the fundamental right to have a legal abortion, we therefore consider that making abortion easily accessible, in good psychological and sanitary conditions is key.
The protection and effective guarantee of this right is not only a matter of fundamental rights and freedom, it is also a basic element of democratic societies based on equal citizens’ rights. Indeed, the free access to proper and safe healthcare also in reproductive matters, is considered to be one of the cornerstones of an egalitarian society.
We also acknowledge that there is a direct link between limiting the right to safe abortions and proper reproductive healthcare and the rise of authoritarianism in Europe
Countless people all across Europe and the world have been forced to turn to the streets to demand that their voices be heard, and their rights to be secured.
To continue strengthening democracy in the world today, it is therefore crucial to assert not just the legalization of abortions but the provision of safe, free and accessible abortions in good psychological and sanitary conditions as a part of securing bodily autonomy, especially when it comes to reproductive matters, for everyone.
In order to implement and strengthen this, the European Greens demand the recognition of the fundamental right of anyone who could get pregnant, including cis women, trans men, and non-binary people and others to:
- Control their own bodies and lives, and thereby decide when and if they wish to become and stay pregnant.
- Have access to a safe abortion in good psychological and sanitary conditions, regardless of age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, class, caste, religious affiliation and beliefs, marital or socio-economic status, disability, HIV or STI status, national and social origin, legal or
migration status, language, sexual orientation or gender identity
Specifically, to practically achieve these goals, the European Greens:
- Defend the legalization of abortion in every country and fight to ban rules and practices that require people who want to terminate their pregnancy to go through unnecessary and stressful procedures where they have to justify their will to access abortion.
- Stand for access to safe and legal abortion to be included in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which should become directly applicable, as soon as possible, and for the European Institutions to provide EU-wide standards and implement best practices regarding abortion, all of which can be used as an example for non-EU countries in the wider Europe.
- Welcome the initiatives to give these rights a constitutional protection at national level and by doing so, to prevent lawmakers to attack them easily.
- Promote the development of administration and medical systems that are patient-oriented, supportive and that abstain from shaming and violating the physical and mental wellbeing of patients seeking an abortion.
- Consider that information about abortion rights and more generally about sexual and reproductive rights should be publicly available, including via educational programs, and that actions aimed at jeopardizing the right to people to access these rights should be banned.
- Ask for the full inclusion of abortion costs, including pre- and post-care, in the public healthcare system at no additional cost to individuals. Furthermore, it should be possible for all people in the EU to have access to receiving abortion free of charge in any Member State of the European Union.
- Support more public funding towards further research for medical abortion care and better practices, and in general for women’s reproductive and sexual health.
- Encourage the increase of public funding to educate medical personnel on state-of-the-art procedures and practices and to provide medical personnel with gender and LGBTQIA+ sensitivity and cultural competence training in order to prioritize patient wellbeing.
- Support more public funding to civil society organization that provide medical counselling and access to abortion to people in countries where they cannot access it.
- Call for political asylum to be granted to people that face legal repercussions for abortion rights activism and for having sought abortion.
- Call on the European Union, member governments, and non-EU governments in the wider Europe to regulate the digital ownership of reproductive health data in order to prevent health apps to share them with government agencies.
- Call for more transparency about research and strategic decisions of pharmaceutical companies regarding pharmaceutical abortion, especially for those companies that are based or whose parent company are based in countries where abortion is illegal or inaccessible or where the legislative system on the topic is ambiguous
- Call for continuous, compulsory, and homogeneous sexual education in all schools, free from any religious conditioning. Besides tackling reproductive health and contraception, the programme should also address sexual and gender stereotypes, as well as living sexuality, pleasure, and affection in a healthy, responsible and unprejudiced manner.
- Call for free contraceptives to be distributed in every health care facility, pharmacy, counselling centre, school, or university
Furthermore, we demand to not support any anti-abortion movement or causes linked to anti-abortion, implying:
- Recognizing that anti-abortion and anti-choices movements are not respecting EU values and therefore not invest public money or other resources in anti-abortion movements or causes linked to anti-abortion. To not invest public money in anti-abortion movements or causes linked to anti-abortion.
- Requesting political parties and organizations to disclose financial contributions received by anti-abortion movements or causes linked to anti-abortion.
As the European Green Party, we commit:
- To condemn any practice aimed at making abortion procedures inaccessible, unsafe, or hostile.
- To not support candidates with ties to anti-abortion movements or causes linked to anti-abortion.
- To not accept money from anti-abortion movements or causes linked to anti-abortion.