European Parliament calls for repeal of new Texas abortion restriction

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


The government of the US state of Texas has to immediately revoke “Senate Bill 8”, a de facto ban on abortion, and ensure safe and free access to abortion services.

Following a plenary debate, MEPs adopted on Thursday a resolution, by 381votes in favour, 253 against and 36 abstentions, expressing solidarity and support to the women of Texas, medical professionals, NGOs and all those engaged in legal challenges against this recently-passed law, which is a flagrant violation of the rights of women living in the state.

MEPs want EU countries to financially support US civil society organisations promoting sexual and reproductive rights and offer a safe haven for medical professionals who risk legal or other forms of harassment.

Parliament calls on the US government to decriminalise abortion to protect women and organisations providing healthcare and abortion services. The resolution calls for the creation of a federal protection for universal access to abortion to safeguard access to abortion services from state-level bans and restrictions.

Finally, MEPs strongly condemn the backsliding in women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) taking place not only in the US but also in other parts of the world. They call on the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Commission and EU member states to strengthen their actions to counteract this rollback of human rights.

Background

The law adopted by Texas known as Senate Bill 8 (SB8), which entered into effect in September 2021, is a de facto “total ban on abortion”, as it provides no exception in case of rape, incest or for foetal health conditions putting at risk the women’s life after birth. This law is one of 26 restrictions on abortion passed in Texas in the last decade and constitutes a further attempt to undermine women’s rights and reproductive freedom.

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