EU: while 1.3 million sign the pro-life petition, radical pro-abortion-politicians don’t want to learn the lesson.

Posted on | October 17, 2013 by J.C. von Krempach, J.D. |

These days there is a lot of excitement in the European Parliament about a so-called “Own-Initiative Report” originating from the Parliament’s “Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality“, and drafted by the Portuguese radical left MEP Edite Estrela.

Believes that killing unborn children is a "right": Edite Estrela

The report, which is likely to be voted in the EP Plenary on 22 October, deals with so-called “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”. Or rather, it seeks to promote a completely distorted understanding of those issues, which stands in clear and radical contradiction both to international law and to the generally accepted meaning of those concepts as they were defined, inter alia, at the 1994 UN Conference on Population and Development. Among other things, Mrs. Estrela wants to define abortion as a “human right” (thereby absurdly inferring that one should have a right to kill other people), and to eliminate the freedom of medical practitioners to refuse practising abortion (which, in fact, is an attack at on the liberty and self-determination at large). She wants to have abortions and in-vitro-fertilization to be financed by public health budgets (thereby revealing a rather bizarre understanding of “health”), and of course she wants to evict parents from their role as primary educators of their children, and even to cancel the right of children to know who their biological parents are. Children are turned into a commodity that can be ordered, produced, and bought at will.

The draft report has been adopted by a strong majority in the “Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality”. But even if it were to be adopted without any changes by the Parliament’s plenary, it would immediately end up in the dustbin without producing any legal effect. The European Union has no competence to decide upon the matters dealt with in the report, and its “Own-Initiative Report” has no legally binding effect.

In fact, all this highlights a fundamental problem with the European Parliament in General, and the rather bizarre personalities behind this “Estrela Report” in particular.

The European Union has no universal policy competence, but it can only act within the competences that have been conferred to it by Member States. And within the European Union, the European Parliament cannot legislate upon its own initiative, but it can only adopt or reject legislative proposals emanating from the European Commission, the EU’s executive body.

Of course, among the Members of the European Parliament (as in all Parliaments) there are some political big-shots and there are light-weights. The big-shots want to deal only with issues on which they can make relevant, i.e. legally binding decisions, and they want to sit in the committees where those relevant policies are formed, and decisions are made: industry, interior market, trade, etc. As a matter of consequence, they do not want to spend their time with what they consider to be “soft” issues, or with discussing or adopting lengthy reports with no relevance whatsoever.

This is why issues like “Women’s Rights and Gender Equality” tend to be the preferred playground of a lunatic fringe of leftist politicians with a radical mind-set, of which Mrs. Estrela and her ilk are the perfect prototype. In fact, nobody takes them quite seriously, and their Committee has over the years assumed the function of a “sheltered workshop” for radical feminists and gay-rights activists.
But that is also the secret behind their “success”: They have a lot of time to spend on their bizarre reports, whereas those MEPs who have more serious business to mind often lack the motivation of picking a fight over something that they feel has no relevance at all, given that it never will have any legal effect. Therefore, the opposition is much weaker than it would be if the EP really had something to say on those matters. The “Estrela-Report” will thus become the one-hundred-and-umpteenth report to spread the gay-cum-abortionist-gospel, but there is nobody (except maybe the authors themselves) to take it seriously.

One might thus choose to simply ignore such silly and irrelevant “Own-Initiative-Reports”, and even abstain from fighting against them. They are simply and purely a waste of time, for those who draft and vote for them, for those who fight against them, and for those who read them. They are, ultimately, a symptom of the institutional weaknesses of the European Parliament.

But there is another phenomenon that observed both in the European Parliament and in other political fora. In nearly all Parliaments and political movements throughout the entire democratic world, radical positions on abortion, gender equality, or gay rights tend to be grossly and structurally over-represented. The reason is that nearly all political parties, including the socially conservative ones, tend to assign the responsibility for following and developing those policy issues to specialized “experts” on “women’s rights”, “gay rights”, etc. – and those so-called “experts” are in fact nothing but the radical fringe. For being an “expert” on women’s rights it suffices to be member of a feminist sub-group, and for being an “expert” on equality, it suffices to be gay. Those politicians would never have any chance of being elected by a majority of voters in their circumscription – but as part of a bigger parcel, they get elected despite not representing the mainstream of society. Crucial family law issues are predominantly dealt with by ultra-radical gay-rights activists or by childless female full-time politicians, many of them divorced or lesbian, who have never had the experience of living in a functioning family or of raising children. By contrast, people with real families and real jobs simply don’t have the time to get involved and make their voice heard. The “normal” members of society are never allowed to have an equal say on marriage and family, even though they represent 90% of society or more.

And it is absolutely no wonder that the members of this Women’s Rights Committee are so assiduously calling for a gender quota in company board rooms. This simply reflects the mind-set of people who owe their political careers only to such quota regimes, without which they would hardly have come to be considered as candidates for election.

The fallacy underlying Europe’s social policy agenda is that the politicians shaping that agenda are representative of the mainstream of society. But in reality, the contrary is the case. Indeed, the report on “Sexual Health and Rights” by Mrs. Estrela can be seen as a last-ditch attempt to pre-empt the debate on the merits of the Europe-wide citizens’ initiative “One of Us“, which has collected more than 1.300.000 signatures of European citizens, and which requests the EU to respect and protect human life from its beginning, i.e. from the moment of conception. The overwhelming success of this initiative has angered and frightened the radical anti-life politicians in the EP, one of which, Caecilia Wikstrom from Sweden, has even called for a restriction of the scope of future citizens’ initiatives (listen to her speaking to the Swedish radio – the shrill voice is hers…), in order to prevent the pro-life movement from challenging her positions, while another, Michael Cashman, is urgently calling for a “Blitzkrieg” (!).

Gay MEP calls for a "blitzkrieg" on the unborn: Michael Cashman

There you have, in a nutshell, the elitist and fundamentally anti-democratic approach to politics that is so typical for pro-abortion politicians: Mrs. Wikström appears to think some issues are too important to be left to “mere” citizens, or that citizens who hold views different to hers shouldn’t be allowed participate in the democratic process. But the very purpose of a citizens’ initiative is that citizens have the right to express their views, choose which topics interest them, propose their own ideas for legislation.

Thus, the Estrela Report must be seen as yet another evidence of just how detached from outward reality the abortionist-LGBT-lobby in the EP really are: 1.3 million citizens have sent a clear and unequivocal message to politicians to stop financing and promoting abortion, and a group of 15 to 30 politicians want to drive the Parliament in the opposite direction. Does anyone seriously think that a similar number of signatures (1.3 million or more) could be collected to support the absurd statements and claims made by the Estrela report?

But being out of touch with reality is the first step towards losing power.



Turtle Bay and Beyond is a blog covering international law, policy and institutions. Our experts - at the UN, European Institutions, and elsewhere - explore an authentic understanding of international law, sovereignty, and the dignity of the human person. We expose those who would seek to impose a radical social vision that is contrary to these principles.


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