A citizen-led initiative in Europe is nearing the one million signatures needed to prompt a discussion on human life and push for an end to funding of abortion and embryo-destroying research, reports the Catholic News Agency.
The initiative --One of Us -- seeks to protect the 'dignity, the right to life and the integrity of every human being' at all stages of development. It asks the European Union 'to end the financing of activities which presuppose the destruction of human embryos, in particular in the areas of research, development aid and public health,' according to the organizers’ website.
The petition was introduced as a European citizens’ initiative, a participative democracy project in which the people can submit legislative proposals to the European parliament if they can generate one million signatures from citizens within a year.
Since November 2012, One of Us has received more than 800,000 signatures, needing just under 200,000 more by Nov. 1, 2013 to reach the target. The campaign has been met with widespread support throughout Europe, gaining the endorsement of 40 pro-life leaders, politicians, scholars and doctors from across the continent.
In addition, it has received the support of numerous Catholic bishops and two consecutive Popes. If the petition gains enough votes and the European Commission respects its own rules regarding citizens’ initiatives, the 'European Parliament will be forced to schedule a debate on the issue of life at conception,' One of Us explains.