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President Emmanuel Macron of France.Kay Nietfeld - Pool / Getty Images

STRASBOURG, France (LifeSiteNews) — When the present occupant of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, Emmanuel Macron, called for the so-called “right to abortion” to be enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, he was obviously overstepping his own legal powers. 

Apart from the fact that such a suggestion is contrary to natural law, which forbids the taking of innocent life, abortion is very clearly not a right under international law, conventions, and treaties, and over the years has been explicitly shown not to be a part of the European Union’s area of competence – however much certain political representatives at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, or lobbies pressuring the European Court of Human Rights (which includes the wider group of the 47 Council of Europe states), would like it to be. 

Macron’s personal involvement with the promotion and liberalization of abortion is surely what prompted him to make such a statement while addressing the MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday. On the same day, the French Senate was examining the extension of legal and unconditional recourse to abortion (that is, abortion on demand) from twelve to fourteen weeks of gestation with the blessing of Macron’s executive. Directly following Tuesday’s election of a nominally pro-life president, Roberta Metsola, to the head of the European assembly, his speech also smacked of a desire to provoke Mrs. Metsola as she presided over the sitting. 

On the same day, Metsola made her own “feminist” commitment in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, assuring him of the European Parliament’s desire to stand by him. 

“Allow me to confirm this, the Parliament will truly be at your side in the fight for women’s rights and for equality between men and women; in this context please be assured, Mr. President, that I am personally disposed to adhere to the Simone Veil Pact,” she said. 

The Pact bears the name of the French politician whose name is linked to the abortion bill that legalized the killing of unborn babies in France in 1975, the “Loi Veil.” Simone Veil was also the first woman president of the European Parliament. The Simone Veil Pact was launched at the European level in January 2020 by feminist representatives of “Renew Europe,” a group of center-left parties presently led by Stéphane Séjourné, a member of Macron’s La République en Marche party. Incidentally, Séjourné is the homosexual partner of Gabriel Attal, the official spokesman of the French government. 

The Pact was presented at the European Parliament in Macron’s presence by Séjourné and others, with the intention of “upwardly aligning women’s rights in Europe,” in other words: identifying the most favorable laws in member states and imposing them upon the whole EU. Abortion was not specifically mentioned, but Séjourné said the aim was to extend “progressive” laws in Europe that would uphold male – female “parity” and “sexual and reproductive rights.” 

And Metsola has anticipated the official adoption of the pact even before its possible adoption – or not – by the parliamentarians and other EU institutions. 

It would have been her right, and was even her duty, to call Macron’s attention to the fact that member states have not surrendered their sovereignty to the EU in matters regarding abortion. She could have underscored that, although legal abortion is presented by many as a “right,” and even though in many places it is in practice considered to be one, it is juridically not a right at all. 

Abortion’s status is mainly that of an act that is exempt from criminal proceedings, provided certain conditions, varying from country to country, are met – even when abortion is accessible “on demand” during the first weeks of pregnancy. Many countries, including France, provide or have provided for “conscientious objection” for doctors or medical staff in a wider sense when confronted with such an act. This is surely weak and insufficient protection for the unborn, but it does underscore the fact that, legally, abortion cannot be put on the same plane as “ordinary” surgical or medical acts. 

Gregor Puppinck of the ECLJ (European Centre for Law and Justice) has made abundantly clear that abortion is not a “human right” despite eugenicist efforts to include it in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While the Declaration does not afford “international protection to human life before birth,” other international documents require “respect for human life from the time of conception.” It is the “promoters of birth control,” he remarked, who are “constantly trying to impose a universal right to abortion.” 

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The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is in line with this, Puppinck recalls: 

The European Court has stipulated that the Convention guarantees neither the right to have an abortion nor the right to [perform] one. It does not even grant the right to have an abortion in another country with impunity. The Court has also ruled that the prohibition of abortion does not violate the Convention. Finally, the Court has emphasized that Article 8 of the Convention, which guarantees the right to private and family life, “cannot… be interpreted as conferring a right to abortion.” There is thus no right to abortion under the European Convention. The existence of such a right of life and death over a human being before birth would imply an absolute denial of its humanity, and there is, so far, no majority within the Court to do that.

But pro-abortion lobbies are repeatedly going before the ECHR to change that, disregarding international consensus on the subject. 

Of course, the European Union, a narrower institution than Council of Europe, is also being used as a means to put pressure on member states who do not widely allow, or who discourage, abortion. Malta, Poland, and Hungary were the main targets of Emmanuel Macron’s plea for a so-called “right” to abortion. The plan seems to be to align legal time limits, and to scrap any conditions that may be attached to getting an abortion, and perhaps even to ensure that all abortion procedures are fully paid for by public money. 

Puppinck writes: 

In many countries, abortion is decriminalised under certain conditions, but because of these very conditions, abortion remains a derogation to the principle of the right to life. One cannot abort “freely,” as one would exercise a true freedom or a true right.

On the European level, one can often see a strong political will to facilitate access to abortion, in particular in countries where it is prohibited. Nevertheless, and it is important to underline it, there is still a logic of derogation: abortion is not a right, nor a “good,” but a tolerance, a lesser evil.

There is a fundamental reason to this: abortion will always be different from a right. Indeed, a right aims at guaranteeing the faculty of a person to act for his/her good as a human being. Everything that we recognize as fundamental rights: think, associate, pray, speak, are faculties through which every person expresses his humanity. These are faculties that animals do not have and that define “human” rights. The fundamental rights protect the exercise of these noble faculties, specifically human. They protect what every person realizes his or her humanity in. Which means that by exercising these fundamental rights, man becomes more human.

But can one say of a woman that she is more accomplished and more human when she has an abortion, like she does when she studies, gets married, or when she expresses herself? Between a fundamental right and abortion, the difference in nature is obvious. Thus, abortion can never be a fundamental right. Also, the resolution adopted by the French MPs to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the legalization of abortion is quite striking. While the first article presents abortion as a universal right, the second article recommends the prevention of it. But if abortion truly were a fundamental right, it would be absurd and unfair to prevent its use. It is precisely because it is tolerated as a lesser evil that it should be the object of a policy of prevention.

When Macron addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday, he said: “Twenty years after the proclamation of our Charter of Fundamental Rights, which consecrated the abolition of the death penalty throughout the Union, I wish to update this Charter, to make it more explicit on environmental protection and the recognition of the right to abortion.” He said this would promote the “state of law.” 

Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakusic countered his statement with these words: “In France, there is a limitation of the state of law and human rights, and you are promising us the opposite of what you have done in France. You are proud because there is no death penalty in Europe today, but tens of thousands of citizens have died because of the consequences of the [COVID] vaccination. The vaccine is a death penalty. The vaccine must be a choice, in full liberty of each citizen, otherwise it is murder. Murder is murder; you can read accounts by the WHO.” 

Macron listened to him, masked and unflinchingly. 

France’s vaccine passport, approved this Friday by the Constitutional Court, will enter into effect on Monday. Is this just one more manifestation of the culture of death? France is overtly promoting this in the same way that it is promoting abortion, a death penalty that has allowed the legal slaughter of millions of citizens in the EU. 

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Jeanne Smits has worked as a journalist in France since 1987 after obtaining a Master of Arts in Law. She formerly directed the French daily Présent and was editor-in-chief of an all-internet French-speaking news site called reinformation.tv. She writes regularly for a number of Catholic journals (Monde & vie, L’Homme nouveau, Reconquête…) and runs a personal pro-life blog. In addition, she is often invited to radio and TV shows on alternative media. She is vice-president of the Christian and French defense association “AGRIF.” She is the French translator of The Dictator Pope by Henry Sire and Christus Vincit by Bishop Schneider, and recently contributed to the Bref examen critique de la communion dans la main about Communion in the hand. She is married and has three children, and lives near Paris.

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