Irish bishop criticises ‘one-sided’ EU abortion draft resolution

Irish bishop criticises ‘one-sided’ EU abortion draft resolution

Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor, who is vice-president of an EU bishops’ body, has defended the “fundamental right” to conscientious objection against abortion, as a draft EU resolution “questions the mere existence” of this right.

The European Parliament Plenary (EPP) is to vote on a resolution to adopt a report on abortion that would put pressure on member states to remove obstacles to abortion and outlaw conscientious objection.

Bishop Treanor, who is vice-president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), criticised the draft resolution, calling it “a one-sided perspective throughout”.

He added that it is “deeply concerning” that the draft “negates the fundamental right to conscientious objection”.

“The draft EU resolution questions the mere existence of a right of medical institutions and their staff to refuse to provide certain health services, including abortion, on the basis of conscience clauses,” said the bishop of Down and Connor.

Bishop Treanor also said that the resolution “disregards the responsibility of member states” regarding the legislation of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Meanwhile, the Life Institute has called on people to lobby MEPs to vote against a report on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU, in the frame of women’s health (2020/2215(INI)) when it comes before the EPP June 23-24.

It’s “very important” that Irish people speak up to show how much this matters.

“The EPP has for long time been trying to make the union sign up to the notion that abortion is a right,” said spokesperson Niamh Uí Bhriain. “As those calls become louder and those pushing them more extreme, it’s also impacting on things like the right to conscientious objection.”

Senator Rónán Mullen also called on Ireland’s MEPs to dissent, adding that if they don’t, it’s “really unacceptable, a two fingers to fundamental human rights”.