GUE/NGL MEPs have urged the European Commission to stand up for women and sound the alarm on a dangerous and regressive European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) which has been tabled by 'One of Us', an ultra-conservative anti-choice movement.

The aim of 'One of Us' is to block any EU funding for activities that could involve the destruction of human embryos, whether through research or through the provision of indirect or direct abortion or 'abortion-related' services in low and middle-income countries. Such a move would pose a real and worrying threat to gender equality, women’s rights and sexual, maternal, and reproductive health and rights in Europe and around the world.

The Commission must publish its formal response to this ECI by 28 May.

GUE/NGL MEP and Chair of the Women's Rights Committee Mikael Gustafsson said: “The 'One of Us' campaign completely contradicts the EU’s development aid aims as well as commitments it has made as part of the Millennium Development Goals. Almost 800 women in the developing world die every day during pregnancy and childbirth. We simply cannot stand for any abolition of essential EU support for maternal healthcare, pre-natal care and voluntary family planning services in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

GUE/NGL MEP Inês Zuber said: ” This ECI is the latest in a string of attacks on gender equality, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe. It follows on from the disgraceful attempt to change the law in Spain this year. Women and girls have a right to independently decide when and how many children they want to have and we will continue to stand up for the right to maternal health.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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