- The Washington Times - Friday, October 25, 2013

Abortion is not a human right, the European Parliament voted this week, effectively shutting down a measure that would have pressed all 28 member states of the European Union to provide the procedure on demand.

The parliament’s vote was 351-319, Breitbart.com reported.

Some women’s groups were quick to criticize, saying “intense lobbying by right-wing religious and political conservatives” shut the doors on what they perceived as an issue of gender equality, Breitbart.com said.

Life News reported that some nations would have faced intense pressure to change long-held laws, had the vote gone the other way. Ireland, Poland and Malta all have strict regulations regarding abortion, outlawing most of these procedures, but would have been pushed to overturn their bans.

Opponents were particularly outraged with the “sexual and reproductive health and rights” clause, which stated: “As a human rights concern, abortion should be made legal, safe and accessible to all,” Breitbart.com reported.

More of the measure’s language: EU member states would be pressed to “regulate and monitor the use of conscientious objection so as to ensure that reproductive health care is guaranteed as an individual’s right, while access to lawful services is ensured and appropriate and affordable referral systems are in place.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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