Emmanuel Macron Calls for Abortion to be Added to EU Rights Charter

President Macron of France made the appeal the day after the European Union’s law-making body elected the pro-life Maltese politician Roberta Metsola as its new president.

President of France Emmanuel Macron with mask.
President of France Emmanuel Macron with mask. (photo: Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock)

STRASBOURG, France — French President Emmanuel Macron called on Wednesday for abortion to be added to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Speaking to members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on Jan. 19, Macron said that the rights charter needed to be revised.

“We must update this charter to be more explicit on the recognition of the right to abortion or on the protection of the environment,” he said.

He added: “Let us open up this debate freely with our fellow citizens ... to breathe new life into the pillar of law that forges this Europe of strong values.”

The EU charter, ratified by member states in the year 2000, recognizes the right to life but does not mention abortion. 

Macron made the appeal the day after the European Union’s law-making body elected the pro-life Maltese politician Roberta Metsola as its new president. 

Metsola succeeds David Sassoli, who died on Jan. 11 at the age of 65. Her election was welcomed by both EU bishops and Maltese Church leaders.

The European Parliament voted in June 2021 in favor of a report describing abortion as “essential healthcare” and seeking to redefine conscientious objection as a “denial of medical care.”

Members of the assembly voted by 378 votes in favor, 255 against, and 42 abstentions to adopt the text, known as the Matić Report, at a plenary session in Brussels, Belgium.

The report also declared that violations of “sexual and reproductive health and rights” are “a form of violence against women and girls.”

Most of the EU’s 27 member states permit abortion on demand or broad social grounds, except Malta and Poland, which have strong pro-life laws.

On Jan. 1, France took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, which negotiates and adopts EU laws with the European Parliament.

Macron, who is expected to run for re-election in April, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in November 2021.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray testifies Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

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