SPUC urges MEPs to reject EU abortion funding on Wednesday
10 February 2003
SPUC urges MEPs to reject EU abortion funding on Wednesday Westminster, 10 February 2003--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has contacted all British members of the European parliament urging them to vote against a report which would compel every EU member state to fund abortions in the Third World. MEPs will vote definitively on Wednesday evening on the Sandbæk report -which forms the basis of a new regulation to determine the EU' s overseas aid policy in the area of reproductive health for the next five years. On account of the fact that EU regulations take precedence over national law, all EU member states would be obliged to fund abortions overseas through their EU contributions if the report is adopted. 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. John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "We were very disappointed that only two members of the European parliament's development committee voted against the report on 21 January. If another two full members had voted against, then MEPs would have had the opportunity to debate the report and pass further amendments. As it is, the only options open to MEPs now are to accept or reject the report in full. "Contrary to what some MEPs believe, and despite the fact that explicit reference to the provision of abortion has been omitted, the report does entail abortion funding. It obliges EU states 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. "If this is allowed to stand, it will mean that the EU will become one of the foremost promoters of a pro-abortion culture of death around the world."