Matić's Report Adopted, Alternative Motion For Resolution By EPP Rejected

By 25 June 2021
Matić's Report Adopted, Alternative Motion For Resolution By EPP Rejected

June 25th, 2021 - The European Parliament adopted a report by Croatian MEP Predrag Fred Matić on sexual and reproductive health and rejected an alternative motion for a resolution by the European People's Party (EPP).

Matić's resolution, which sparked a media storm, a reaction from the Church, and a debate in the Croatian parliament, calls on member states to introduce comprehensive sex education for young people, to improve access to contraception, and to ensure better access to menstrual hygiene products by abolishing taxes.

It calls on member states to ensure safe and legal abortion and stresses that "a total ban on abortion care or denial of abortion care is a form of gender-based violence."

Member states should ensure more accessible infertility treatment and antenatal, childbirth, and postnatal care, it is said in the resolution, which was adopted by 378 votes in favor, 255 against, and 42 abstentions.

The resolution also notes that "there are several links between prostitution and trafficking, and acknowledges that prostitution - both in the EU and across the globe - fuels the trafficking of vulnerable women and minors" and calls for the abolition of harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early and forced marriages.

The European Parliament "recognizes that for personal reasons, individual medical practitioners may invoke a conscience clause; (...) however, (...) an individual's conscience clause may not interfere with a patient's right to full access to healthcare and services," the resolution says.

The Parliament "regrets that sometimes common practice in the Member States allows for medical practitioners, and on some occasions entire medical institutions, to refuse to provide health services based on the so-called conscience clause, which leads to the denial of abortion care on the grounds of religion or conscience, and which endangers women's lives and rights," it is said in the resolution.

Right-wing politicians criticized Matić's report due to, they said, citing abortion as a human right, problematizing the conscience clause, and exceeding the powers of EU member states.

The European People's Party submitted its own resolution for adoption.

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) also had a motion for a resolution. They demanded a plenary session the day before that Matić's report be removed from the agenda, which was not adopted.

Matić's resolution was earlier approved by the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality by 27 votes in favor and six against.

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