Competencies exceeded?

Competencies exceeded?

Demonstration by pro-abortion activists in Poland © Salvatore Allotta (shutterstock)

The EU Bishops' Commission COMECE has appealed to the President of the European Parliament over the resolution passed by MEPs in Brussels on the law on abortions in Poland. It is a matter of respect for responsibilities.

"From a legal point of view, neither European Union legislation nor the European Convention on Human Rights provide for a right to abortion," reads a published letter from COMECE to David Sassoli. "This matter is left to the legal systems of the member states."

Responsibilities regulated by treaty

The bishops referred to the legislative sovereignty of the individual EU member states and contractually regulated competences. "Strict adherence to this principle is a requirement of the rule of law, one of the fundamental values of the Union". In their letter, the bishops of the EU express concern and criticize a "questioning of the fundamental right to conscientious objection", which is a "manifestation of freedom of conscience".

"This is particularly worrying given that conscientious objectors are in many cases discriminated against in the health sector."

At the end of November, the EU Parliament passed a resolution calling for a right to sexual self-determination for Polish women. The initiative was a response to the nationwide protests that brought thousands of citizens in the country to the streets.

De facto ban on abortion pronounced

Poland's largely government-controlled Constitutional Court had ied a de facto ban on abortion in October when it declared the last legitimate justification for legal abortion unconstitutional.

The bishops' conferences of the 27 EU member states are represented in COMECE. The seat of the Secretariat is Brussels. Church representatives there maintain contact with parliaments and governments in order to help shape politics in the sense of the Church's social teachings.

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