GUE/NGL MEPs this morning voiced their concerns about the rise in discrimination against women when it comes to sexual and reproductive health and rights in light of recent events both in the European Parliament and in Spain.

GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer said: “The events of recent months are discriminatory, reactionary and alarming. It is more than the rejection of progressive proposals on women's rights or restrictive legislative proposals at the national level. Human rights are being violated, women's health is being compromised and efforts at achieving equality are being reversed. This hits women and girls living in poverty the hardest. We must join forces to defend the right to self-determination and bodily integrity.”

Swedish MEP and Chair of Parliament's Women's Rights Committee Mikael Gustafsson commented: “When it comes to sex education we must break the patriarchal mode which imposes these restrictions on women and takes decisions out of their hands. In Spain the government is going backwards. Of course there is a subsidiarity dimension to this, and the Spanish can decide how they see fit. However, as politicians when there are violations of human rights we have a duty to speak out, regardless of whether these violations take place in Spain or elsewhere in the world. It is symbolic not just for women in Spain, but for women all across the planet.”

Spanish MEP Willy Meyer said: “The ultra-catholic fundamentalist position of the Spanish Partido Popular is an attempt at an unprecedented rollback in Spanish law. This fundamental catholic patriarchy is always well-represented in the European Parliament. I call on MEPs to sign up to the movement against this kind of language to counter this step back in time. We need a unified response from all who defend sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber said: “It is inadmissible that the European Parliament is not defending women. It took decades to acquire these rights. Many women campaigned long and hard. This will cause suffering to many women, especially in the poorer classes.”

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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