-- ZENIT.org News Agency
European Political Group Trying to Push Anti-Life Bill Through Backdoor
Estrela Bill Being Presented in a Different Guise, Warns Pro-Life Group
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, January 15, 2014 (Zenit.org) - A group in the European Parliament is trying to resurrect a radical anti-life bill, despite it being clearly rejected in a parliamentary vote last month.
The Estrela Report - which called for abortion on demand, compulsory sex education at the primary and secondary school levels, and restrictions on freedom of conscience - was roundly voted out in favour of an alternative bill which emphasised national sovereignty in such matters.
But despite clear opposition from citizens across Europe, the Socialist and Democrats Group (S&D) in the European Parliament is trying to pass the agenda through the backdoor, according to European Dignity Watch, a pro-life pressure group.
The S&D group, of which Edite de Fátima Santos Marreiros Estrela, a Portuguese politician, is also a member, want to bring a statement from the European Commission on "non-discrimination in the framework of sexual and reproductive health and rights" to plenary on January 16.
Such a statement can eventually lead to a repeat resolution on sexual and reproductive health and rights, warns European Dignity Watch.
"By requesting the use of a procedure allowed under the Parliament's Rule 110 regarding "Statements by the Commission, Council and European Council", supporters of the original Estrela Report now seek to push the same content forward under a different guise," the Brussels-based pro-life group says.
"That rule states that "Members of the Commission, the Council and the European Council may at any time ask the President of Parliament for permission to make a statement" - and further says that "[w]hen placing a statement with debate on its agenda, Parliament shall decide whether or not to wind up the debate with a resolution".
In 2013, Estrela introduced the bill, known as "Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights." It was rejected in a parliamentary vote on Dec. 11.
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European Dignity Watch
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