By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
On Wednesday, Macron stunned European legislators by demanding that the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights recognizes the right to abortion and environmental protection as a human right.
Macron addressed the European Parliament in his first speech laying out his ambitions as France holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
“We must update this [EU] Charter to be more explicit on the protection of the environment, the recognition of the right to abortion,” Macron said, about the future direction of Europe.
His opening salvo came a day after Malta’s conservative legislator Roberta Metsola, who opposes abortion, was elected president of the European Parliament. The Maltese national took over from David Sassoli, who died last week at age 65 after a severe illness.
While Metsola did not publicly address Macron’s comments, France’s self-declared pro-life Alliance VITA association quickly condemned the president’s abortion policies.
“Advocating for the inclusion of a ‘right to abortion’ in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union ignores the violence that abortion often inflicts on many women,” Alliance VITA said.
“In France, a study found that less affluent women have more abortions than wealthier women. Abortion is a marker of social inequality.”
Alliance VITA says it provides support for women facing difficult or unplanned pregnancies and advocates protecting human life in public policy.
Caroline Roux, the deputy executive director of Alliance VITA, added that it is “necessary more than ever that a real assessment of the causes, conditions, and consequences of abortion be carried out at national and European level.”
She stressed, “This would be a real step forward that the French Presidency should offer to protect women.”
Macron’s abortion rights plan was also due to face scrutiny by conservative governments in the European Union, including Hungary, where life is protected from the moment of conception under a new constitution.
Abortion campaigners claim easier access to pregnancy interruption prevents illegal abortion and could, in some cases, save the lives of women.
However, the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Catholic group, has suggested that instead of focusing on abortion, Macron should promote the abolition of the death penalty, banned in the EU.
The group hopes to cooperate with Macron on campaigning against execution worldwide during the French EU presidency, reported the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
France took over the EU’s six-month presidency for the first time in 14 years on January 1.
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