03 dic 2013

Urgent: European Parliament: support Estrela report on Sexual and reproductive rights !

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ACTION NEEDED: Please contact and urge your MEPs to act to ensure the European Parliament Assembly adopts the SRHR Report on the 10th of December. Full list of MEPs is available here. For your reference please use the briefing paper on the Estrela report which highlights the top 5 reasons for voting YES to this crucial report. The paper was prepared with the support of many SRHR organizations including CRR, DSW, EPF, IPPF EN, MSI and UNFPA

The Edite Estrela SRHR Report is back on the table at the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament! This is the second time that the FEMM Committee has voted on the Report as it was referred back to the Committee by majority of MEPs at an October plenary session of the European Parliament.

The need to prevent unwanted pregnancies and guarantee equal access to contraception and safe, legal abortion still remains among the main proposals in a non-legislative resolution on “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” approved by the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee on Tuesday by 19 votes in favour and 15 against.  

“I am very happy once again, for the support of the FEMM committee. We are dealing with very important matters; this resolution provides a very in-depth analysis of SRHR, including important aspects such as the need to provide comprehensive sexuality education for girls and boys, to protect pregnancy and childbirth by fighting maternal mortality as well as the need to protect contraception and safe abortion. The resolution also recognises that SRHR is not only a human rights issue; it is also a way to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment” said rapporteur Edite Estrela (S&D, Portugal).  

MEP Sophie in’t Veld, Chair of the EP Working Group on Reproductive Health HIV/AIDS and Development (EPWG), during the European Development Days appealed for a stronger mobilization from the SRHR community and general citizens in order to counteract a vocal anti-choice lobby.

Equal access to contraception and safe legal abortion

MEPs confirmed that, as “a human rights and public health concern”, high-quality abortion services should be made legal, safe and accessible to all within the public health systems of the member states. The committee stresses that abortion should not be promoted as a method of family planning or be performed for social or economic reasons.  

Committee Members also call on member states to promote scientific research on male and female controlled methods of contraception to facilitate the burden sharing of contraceptive responsibility. Further, they ask member states to take measures to remove all barriers hindering the access of adolescent girls and boys to safe, effective, affordable methods of contraception, including condoms, and provide clear information on contraceptives.

Gender and age appropriate sexuality education

MEPs in the committee believe that sexuality education would promote responsible behaviour in family planning. Well informed and educated couples or young people will, on the basis of good information and knowledge responsibly, choose number and timing of children.Committee members finally underline that sexuality education must be designed and implemented in a holistic, rights-based and positive way.

The Report has been put on the agenda for a plenary vote in EP on December 10 at 11:30 a.m.

Twitter hashtags for the Estrela report are: #Estrelareport and #SRHReport

Source: www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/femm/home.html


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