Calling on European governments to listen to the growing movement of women on abortion rights

On the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, GUE/NGL MEPs are calling on governments across Europe to listen to the growing movement of women who are standing up for the right to safe and legal abortion.

A recent study has shown a stagnation or decline in policies that support women's right to contraceptive choice and abortion across many EU countries during the past three years.

In Poland and Ireland, for example, where abortion access is heavily restricted, growing movements of women are calling for legislative changes.

The Polish campaign comes in response to a bill that will be debated in the country's parliament which aims to put a complete ban on all abortions. By contrast, women are proposing an alternative bill in the Polish parliament calling for increased access to abortion.

Swedish MEP, Malin Björk, comments: “The right to free, safe and legal abortion is a key factor to gender equality and must be guaranteed everywhere. It is therefore deeply concerning that the Polish government is now debating a complete ban on abortion. Such a ban would be a vicious attack on the right of women to decide over their own bodies.”

Irish MEP, Lynn Boylan, described the situation in Ireland: “In my home country Ireland where women are subjected to some of the most restrictive reproductive laws in the world, a growing movement of support for serious change has been witnessed.”           

“On Saturday, tens of thousands of people from across the country and beyond marched in Dublin to demand a repeal of the eighth amendment to the constitution which does not even allow for abortion in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities.

“It is frankly embarrassing that on several occasions the United Nations has stated that by continuing with this absurd situation Ireland is disregarding its human rights obligations and is subjecting women to cruel and unusual punishment.

“Women's health and wellbeing have been ignored for far too long. It is high time politicians listen to those voices in the street and repeal these archaic laws,” Boylan concludes.

Malin Björk will be speaking at the All of Us network's Clean conscience? event on women's sexual and reproductive rights in the European Parliament (Room ASP 1E3) today, from 13.00 to 15.00, Wednesday September 28, 2016.


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20