French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for abortion to be added to the European Union's charter of fundamental rights.
Speaking to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg in eastern France on Wednesday, Macron said the rights charter needed to be revised, the National Catholic Register (NCR) reported.
“We must update this charter to be more explicit on the recognition of the right to abortion or on the protection of the environment,” he said, according to NCR.
“Let us open up this debate freely with our fellow citizens ... to breathe new life into the pillar of law that forges this Europe of strong values,” he said.
The European Union charter recognizes the right to life but does not mention abortion.
Macron made the appeal the day after the European Union’s law-making body elected the pro-life politician Roberta Metsola from Malta as its new president, the news outlet noted.
Metsola, at 43 the youngest-ever president of the European Parliament — told Euronews after her election that she would respect the assembly’s majority view in favor of abortion during her renewable term of 2 1/2 years.
“The position of the parliament is unambiguous and unequivocal, and that is also my position,” she said Tuesday, Catholic News Agency reported. “That is exactly what I will do throughout my mandate as president on this issue.”
According to NCR, the European Parliament voted last June in favor of a report describing abortion as “essential healthcare” and seeking to redefine conscientious objection as a “denial of medical care.”
The report also declared violations of “sexual and reproductive health and rights” are “a form of violence against women and girls.”
Most of the EU’s 27 member states permit abortion on demand or broad social grounds, except Malta and Poland, which have strong pro-life laws, NCR reported.
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