European Parliament Opposes Pro-Life Amdts to Stop Forced Abortion Funding

Strasbourg, France (LifeNews.com) -- Members of the European Parliament voted against amendments to the budget to revoke funding from groups that promote coercive abortions or involuntary sterilizations as part of their family planning programs in other nations. They had been asked by pro-life groups to support them.

One amendment would "prevent any funds going to organizations or countries which are complicit in promoting family planning programs which include an element of compulsion (e.g. coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization)."

Another would have opposed sex-selective abortion.

"Projects funded by this budget title must not pursue gender-based eugenic discrimination, which is increasingly common in certain countries, or any other form of discrimination against girls (at any point after conception)," this second amendment read.

In an email to LifeNews.com, the British pro-life group SPUC said the amendments "were partly motivated by opposition to China's one-child policy, which involves compulsory abortions, and to the abortions of unborn girls because of a cultural preference for boys in India."

However, they both went down in defeat.

There were 310 votes against and 290 in favor of the amendment on coercive abortion.

Although there were 304 votes supporting and 300 votes against amendment on sex-selective abortion, that amendment failed because the rules required a qualified majority for passage.

CARE for Europe and SPUC led the charge for the amendments, and it would have been the second time the European Parliament had approved them.

"As in previous years CARE For Europe, along with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is campaigning for specific wording to be included in the European Commission's annual budget for overseas development," the group said.

The amendments were actually passed in 2007 and included in the 2008 budget, but abortion advocates opposed them this time around.

"The pro-abortion lobby are, however, now saying this amendment should be opposed, because they say it is an attack on the so-called right to abortion. This is not the case," CARE for Europe said. "All that is being called for is that there should be no element of compulsion in these matters. Such compulsion is an abuse of human rights and makes women have something done to them that they have not freely chosen."

Related web sites:
CARE for Europe - http://www.careforeurope.org
SPUC - http://www.spuc.org.uk"

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