Today, on the International Human Rights Day, the European Parliament failed to support the Sexual and Reproductive Rights of all people and rejected the Estrela SRHR report. It is a great loss and dissapointment that the majority of MEPs failed to recognise the right of all people, and especially women, to make informed choices on their reproductive and sexual lives, including on issues such as contraception and abortion. They have also failed to acknowledge the urgent need to prevent the spread of STIs, including HIV and gender based violence. If adopted, this report would have been a strong political statement from the EP in defence of these rights.
The vote in the EP Plenary Session took place on Tuesday, December 10. The SRHR report was rejected by only 7 votes and the alternative resolution drafted by the right-wing European Conservatists and Reformists backed by European People’s Party was adopted instead.
Mikael Gustafsson, Chair of the FEMM Committee said: "I remain ashamed and stunned that so many people still can't see how important sexual and reproductive health and rights are to achieving gender equality in the EU and beyond. Following the despicable behaviour in the October vote, it is no surprise that we were treated to more of the same shouting and heckling in the chamber today. We will continue to defend a woman's right to safe and legal abortion and access to contraception. We won't back down on calling for comprehensive, non-discriminatory sexuality education for all as well as for urgent protection of the rights of LGBTI persons in Europe. The Estrela report contained all these objectives and it is a scandal that right-wing forces have succeeded in throwing it out."