Noichl Report Adopted! EP Votes for Abortion and Sexual Education Programmes in Schools

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June 9, 2015

The European Parliament today [9 June 2015] adopted the FEMM Report on the Strategy for equality between women and men post-2015, presented by its rapporteur Maria Noichl (S&D), and rejected the alternative report offered by the EPP. The EPP’s resolution asked for actions in favour of modernising and improving the protection of pregnant women and mothers at work, helping women to return to the labour market after giving birth, and reconciling work and family life (§2.iv) while maintaining respect for the principle of subsidiarity (TEU Art.5,3).

With their decision, the MEPs gave a political signal that they will seek to weaken the EU principle of subsidiarity by increasing the EU’s role in gender matters and issues of equality beyond its competence. By favouring the Noichl Report, the MEPs gave their support to a proposal that includes several measures that go far beyond the competence of the FEMM Committee.

As we showed in our last statement, the Noichl Report includes various radical measures including the offering of a roadmap for LGBT people (§2), support for gender mainstreaming (§§ 7, 76), and promoting medically-assisted reproduction (§59) and abortion (§§ 52, 68, 72). It also seeks to “implement sex education programmes for schools” (§56) in Europe, including “access to contraception for young people” (§60).

The MEPs’ vote represents not just a defeat for true equality between men and women in Europe (and around the world). It also weakens the principle of subsidiarity in Europe and, perhaps more importantly, undermines the sovereignty of each individual EU Member State in matters of health and education.