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Defending life
from conception to natural death


MEPs hammer nail in coffin of EU’s respect for life

13 February 2003

MEPs hammer nail in coffin of EU’s respect for life Westminster, 13 February 2003--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has reacted with disappointment and concern after the European parliament finally voted to compel all EU nations to fund abortions in developing countries today. MEPs debated the pro-abortion Sandbæk report last night and voted on it at lunchtime today. Two pro-life amendments were rejected: the first on a show of hands, the second by 254 votes to 180 with 11 abstentions. The whole report was then approved on a show of hands. The Council of Ministers is now likely to adopt the regulation unchanged, which will mean that all member states of the European Union will be compelled to fund abortion services and the provision of abortifacient drugs in developing world countries. John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, explained: "The Sandbæk report constitutes the blueprint for a new regulation to determine EU overseas aid policy over the next five years. It obliges the EU to provide financial assistance to promote 'the recognition of reproductive and sexual health and rights ... including ... universal access to a comprehensive range of safe and reliable reproductive and sexual health care and services'. The World Health Organisation defines 'reproductive healthcare services' as including abortion. "This means that the EU will fund abortions, and the main author of the report, Danish MEP Ulla Sandbæk, admitted as much when she told Ireland's Radio Kerry on 19 November 2002 that the new regulation would mean that abortions would be legally funded by the EU. "EU regulations take precedence over the laws of member states, so all EU countries will now be obliged to fund abortions overseas through their EU contributions. This includes Ireland, which has a pro-life constitution, as well as the pro-life accession countries such as Malta and Poland when they become full EU members." Mr Smeaton concluded: "The EU is becoming one of the foremost promoters of a pro-abortion culture around the world. Today's tragic vote demonstrated a disrespect for the unborn and disregard for the rights of individual nation states within Europe with pro-life laws".

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