Another Europe is possible

Left stands up for women’s rights in Poland, while S&D and ALDE groups sacrifice them in EP vote

13/04/2016

GUE/NGL MEPs have condemned the failure of the European Parliament to show support for the rights of women in a vote on a resolution concerning the situation in Poland today.

Left stands up for women’s rights in Poland, while S&D and ALDE groups sacrifice them in EP vote

While GUE/NGL MEPs co-signed and supported the contents of the motion, many criticised the failure of other political groups in the Parliament to include concerns over women's rights and changes to media and police laws in the resolution.

To rectify this situation, GUE/NGL MEPS proposed a series of amendments to the motion. While these were supported by The Greens/European Free Alliance and some S&D MEPs, the amendments were not passed by the Parliament.

While there has always been majority support for the right to abortion in the European Parliament, ALDE and S&D leaders gave up on women's rights in a deal with the EPP over the resolution that was passed today.

GUE/NGL Coordinator on the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, Malin Björk, addressed the lack of support for women's rights, including the right to abortion: "Contrary to the right and centre political parties, GUE\NGL recognises that the Polish Government's authoritarian conflation of the rule of law and fundamental rights is deeply linked to repression of women's and girls' bodies. Women's rights and bodies are not something one can opt in or opt out from when we are working towards more democratic societies. Women's rights belong at the very core of those discussions. That is why it is important that these issues were raised in this context, in this resolution." 

"The left is the only political force today that fully recognises women's fundamental rights to make decisions about our own bodies. We clearly stand in solidarity with all the Polish people mobilising for women's right to choice." 

Italian MEP, Barbara Spinelli, highlighted that: "With this important resolution and the amendments tabled by our group, we wanted, once again, to point out that constitutional democracy, the independence of judges, fundamental rights, including freedom of the media and women's freedom of choice, are principles that shall always be respected and promoted by all the member states, not only during the accession process, but also and especially as essential and primary conditions for the belonging to the European Union."  

French MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, added: "In Poland, citizens are mobilising against their government which is calling fundamental rights – most notably, women's rights – into question. The Polish Government's current attempt to put a complete ban on abortion – when its abortion laws are already some of the most restrictive in Europe – is a symbolic example of that."

"Our amendments demonstrated unconditional and immediate support to those who are struggling for their fundamental rights in Poland. We believe that fundamental rights and especially women's rights cannot be submitted to any internal arbitration within the European Parliament. I regret that the majority of parliamentarians have not understood this," Vergiat concluded.

 

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh  +32 473 84 23 20

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