3According to the latest estimates by the WTO and the Gutmacher Institute, 25 million4unsafe abortions were performed across the world in 2014. In the same year, about 56 5million abortions were performed across the world. Slightly under half were high-risk 6abortions
7The right to abortion is still limited in more than two-thirds of all countries.
8Europe has always been at the forefront of the fight to liberalise abortion laws and the9legalisation of women’s access to safe and legal abortion.
10The WTO specifies that laws should not impose medically unnecessary delays to a11requested abortion, such as mandatory waiting periods.
12In some European countries, short time limits for access to abortion on request can have13harmful impacts on women and may impede them from obtaining the health care they 14need. When applied in a restrictive manner short time limits can be particularly harmful for 15adolescent girls and women belonging to marginalized communities who may not always 16be able to obtain care within the legal timeframe. This may result in women needing to 17travel to other jurisdictions to access legal abortion or accessing abortion care at home 18outside of the scope of the law and under threat of criminal prosecution.
20Six European countries still do not allow abortion on broad social grounds and two of21them, Poland and Malta, are members of the EU.
22Pope Francis, who is known for having a more progressive ideology as compared to his23predecessors, declared in 2019 that abortion is always unacceptable, regardless of 24whether a fetus is fatally ill or has pathological disorders. He also urged doctors to help 25women bring to term pregnancies likely to end in the death of a child at birth or soon after, 26thus denying condonement to any Catholic who had carried out such practice.
27This stance has significant negative consequences for women in poorer countries where28religion is more widespread, and legitimises doctors not to perform their duty on grounds 29of conscience.
30Although the general trend has been one of progress towards liberalization, in recent31years some countries in Europe have witnessed attempts to roll back existing legal 32protections for women’s access to abortion. At times they have led to the introduction of 33new regressive preconditions that women must fulfil prior to obtaining abortion care. 34These include mandatory biased counselling and mandatory waiting periods. There have 35also been attempts to completely ban abortion or to remove existing legal grounds for 36abortion. There have also been a number of court challenges contesting the 37constitutionality of access to abortion and seeking to advance medical professional’s 38entitlements to refuse to legal abortion care.
40Each person has the right over their own body.
41There has been a regression on sexual rights, and we, as liberals, must not allow or42stand for these rights being taken away or limited, but instead widen them on grounds of 43freedom and individual autonomy.
44Measures that roll back reproductive rights, by introducing new barriers or scaling back45the legality of abortion care, violate the principle of non-retrogression under international 46human rights law.
47Third party authorisation procedures, requiring prior permission from parents, guardians,48doctors or official committees before a woman can access abortion care, disproportionally 49impact adolescent girls, women with disabilities, women living in poverty and women 50belonging to marginalised communities and undermine their human rights and place them 51at risk.
52Sexual education for teenagers should never be dependent on their parents’ beliefs, as it53is necessary information for a healthy life and relationships.
55Any doctor should not be compelled to perform a surgery that goes against their personal56beliefs, as freedom of religion is a core liberal value, but, at the same time, this should not 57prevent a woman from receiving the care she has requested. Doctors are professionals 58and, if they are asked to perform such practice, they should, or otherwise step down on 59grounds of conscience and allow another doctor to perform the surgery in a timely and 60secure manner. If no doctor in a specific hospital is willing to perform the surgery, the 61hospital has the responsibility to find another one capable and willing to perform it.
62Reform process such as the one that Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have gone through to63repel highly restrictive abortion laws are the only way forward in a true liberal and 64democratic European Union.
66Rejects any mandatory waiting period for abortions at request, as these waiting periods67undermine access to timely and affordable care and restrict women’s human rights and 68autonomous decision-making.
69Believes in providing abortion upon request up to and including the 22 week of70pregnancy. Abortions should be performed as soon as possible upon request and 71preferably before the 12th week of pregnancy. However in circumstances where a 72woman’s life is threatened or a fetus is unlikely to survive, an abortion may be performed 73after the 22 week, if supported by 2 medical professionals.
74Rejects compulsory counselling for requested abortions, as they compel a woman to wait75before she gets to make a decision she has already taken. They should be available but 76not compulsory.
77Requests institutions to ensure that all abortion counselling is impartial and not made on78grounds of morality or religion.
79Rejects third party authorisation procedures for women with no mental disorder who can80make an informed adult decision about their body and future.
81Rejects rules requiring women to explain that they are seeking an abortion because of82their social or family circumstance or on grounds of distress, as they stigmatize abortion, 83undermine autonomous decision-making and should be removed.
84Urges EU countries to remove criminal sanctions for abortion practices, as they can85cause significant harm to women’s health and wellbeing, can delay or prevent access to 86post-abortion care, intensify abortion stigma, heighten barriers in access to legal care and 87create a chilling effect on medical professionals’ provision of information and care.
88Believes sexual education should be compulsory in schools.
89Condemns the Catholic Church for its treatment of members who have abortions.
90Calls upon member organisations to encourage and promote the least represented91gender within their organisations as it makes politics more representative, the political 92outcome more balanced and the results more sustainable.
93The LYMEC Bureau to forward this resolution to the ALDE Party and to the ALDE94Council.
95The LYMEC member organisations and member contacts in the EU member states and96applicant states to pressure their mother parties and other politicians to achieve the aims 97of this resolution.
98This resolution archives resolution 2.24 "A Call for a Change in Vatican Policy" (Former 2.35 prior99to London 2019) of the Policy Book.
Attention: This is a preview! The official text is printed in the proposal book for Skopje Spring Congress 2020 03 - 05 April 2020.