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Macron wants to include the right to abortion in the European charter of fundamental rights

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Ludovic MARIN / PISCINE / AFP

Agnès Pinard Legry - published on 01/19/22

Emmanuel Macron has indicated that he wants to include the right to abortion in the European charter of fundamental rights. He made the announcement this Wednesday, January 19, during a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Could this provocation be too much? Emmanuel Macron announced during his speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg that he wanted to include the right to abortion in the European charter of fundamental rights. “Twenty years after the proclamation of our Charter of Fundamental Rights, which has enshrined the abolition of the death penalty throughout the Union, I hope that we can update this charter, especially to be more explicit on the protection of the environment or the recognition of the right to abortion,” he said. Macron continued, “Let’s open this debate freely, with our fellow citizens, great European consciences, to give a new breath to our base of rights that forges this Europe, strong in its values, which is the only future of our common political project.”

A pro-lifer at the head of the European Parliament

These words should be understood in context. The first key is the election the day before this speech, Tuesday, January 18, of the Maltese Roberta Metsola as head of the European Parliament. An MEP since 2013, she has voted on numerous occasions against resolutions promoting abortion. For the record, while some countries had stumped on Malta’s accession to the European Union because of its ban on abortion, Roberta Metsola recalled in an interview in the Maltese press that this was “a debate that should be held in Malta” and not within the European Union.

The return of the bill aimed at “strengthening the right to abortion” this Wednesday, January 19, in the Senate, and which proposes in particular to extend the time limit for abortion to 14 weeks, is another element to keep in mind when Emmanuel Macron proposes to include this right to abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union. Since December 2009 (when the Lisbon Treaty came into effect), the Charter of Fundamental Rights has the same legal force as the treaties. It is therefore binding on the Member States and any citizen can invoke it if a European text does not respect these rights.

The values of Western progressivism

In the wake of this speech, there was no shortage of political reactions. Éric Zemmour accused Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission of wanting to “impose the values of Western progressivism” on countries like Poland and Hungary. “Emmanuel Macron’s Europe is a Europe without a body, a Europe without a head and a Europe without a soul […]. It is a theoretical and, to put it bluntly, fictitious Europe,” he said in a speech from Calais. “It is directed by abstract, impersonal elites, without the slightest legitimacy in the eyes of the people. It is a Europe that is tearing out its own roots, erasing its own history, that does not identify in any way with the civilization from which it comes.”

MEP and presidential candidate of France insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who for his part wants to enshrine the right to abortion in the Constitution, saw in it “the worn-out speech of a man who seems worn out.” “Your political project aims to erase the nations of Europe, ours to save them,” denounced Jordan Bardella, MEP and interim president of the National Rally. “It is necessary to deconstruct the history of France had you declared, so we understand your enthusiasm to find yourself today at the head of an institution that has given itself the objective of dissolving a thousand-year-old Europe.”

Incoherence

Spokesman for Alliance Vita, Tugudal Derville reacted on Twitter by questioning the two proposals that Emmanuel Macron wants to add to the charter, the right to abortion and environmental protection, in light of the words of Pope Francis. “Since everything is connected, the defense of nature is not compatible with the justification of abortion either.”

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AbortionEurope
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