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Tuesday, 2 July 2002 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Sexual and reproductive health and rights

  Montfort (NI ).(FR) This report is the result of a curious process. First of all, it shows contempt for the principle of subsidiarity, because it means that the European Union is interfering not only in the Member States but also in the applicant countries, by trying to compel them to integrate into their legislation provisions which are contrary to their ethics, as a condition for their accession to the Union. Then there is the fact that sexual and reproductive rights are not mentioned in any treaty, in any European convention, or in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Also curious is the fact that the reproductive rights in question consist of a whole list of processes which actually prevent reproduction.

Finally, it is irresponsible to teach very young children a policy of sex without discernment. The educational choices which have to be made on this subject are the responsibility of parents and the family. Moreover, one cannot reduce sex education to mere contraception, nor regard abortion as a method of family planning. Is abortion the only solution to the distress of a pregnant woman? On the contrary, sex education is an apprenticeship preparing children for freedom, for responsibility and for respect for their own bodies and those of other people. Respect for human dignity and consideration for women in difficulties should have led us to propose measures that were more responsible and showed more respect for life. Unfortunately that has not happened, and that is why I shall be voting against this report.

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