Is the EU illegally funding abortions in developing nations?

That’s the question being raised by European Dignity Watch.

According to a report published by European Dignity Watch, Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International – the two biggest abortion providers in the world – have been receiving tens of millions of Dollars of EU tax payer funding.

The funding is being provided through the European Union’s Development Aid and Public Health budgets, for projects related to ‘sexual and reproductive health’.

The problem is that the term ‘sexual and reproductive health’ as defined by the EU explicitly excludes abortion.

And so the question becomes: Are these funds being used to promote abortion in developing nations contravening EU legislation, and if so, is this deliberate or negligence?

To date, not all of the information requested from the EU in answer to these questions has been disclosed, and so EU Parliamentarians have been asked to investigate further and take action.

You can read the report here in PDF format; in the meantime here is the conclusion:

The European Commission, as established by the principles of conferral and subsidiarity, by the position assumed by the Commission itself, and by the requirement of unanimity on foreign policy matters, does not appear to have the legal authority to fund abortions. Still, it seems as though it is doing so under the rubric “sexual and reproductive health” as part of the Health section of the Development Cooperation Instrument. It also seems that the Commission cannot legally award grants to organizations providing “SRH” services if the Commission is unable to prevent the funding of abortion by its contributions. If the Commission is awarding such grants and the funds are being used to perpetrate abortion, as appears to be the case, the Commission would be forcing Member States to pay for abortions. Even if some Member States would consent to such a decision of the Commission, all Member States within the Council have not done so. While there is wide consensus among Member States as well as in society that the EU should provide aid to developing countries, there is no consensus that this aid should include the provision of abortions. Indeed, one is tempted to wonder whether in the current situation the EU’s development policy is not “fighting the poor” rather than “fighting poverty”, or whether development aid should not be directed at providing food, drinking water, health, and education, to children in need, rather than reducing their numbers through abortion.

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2 Responses to “Is the EU illegally funding abortions in developing nations?”

  1. Megan Moore Says:

    Good grief. I have to say the EU’s record on abortion is dodgy to say the least. I remember a few years ago they were VERY concerned when Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua enacted an admirably tough abortion law – urging him to reconsider, threatening to cut off aid, etc.
    Considering the EU is supposedly an anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist organisation they seem have no problem ‘foisting their values’ on other countries when it comes to particular issues…
    Anyway – excellent post, thank you.

  2. Ben Trovato Says:

    What Megan said! Including the bit about excellent post, thank you!

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