Church leaders have condemned a European Parliament resolution calling for "legal, safe and accessible" abortions to be recognised as a "fundamental right" in all European Union member-states, reports the Tablet.
The resolution, which the Parliament in Strasbourg voted to refer back for further committee work by 351 votes to 319 on Tuesday, follows a report drafted by Portuguese MEP Edite Estrela, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, which recommended that abortion should be accessible as a human rights and public health concern.
The European Parliament's Women's Right and Gender Equality Committee has adopted the report.
The debate comes after the "One of Us" campaign gathered more than a million signatories in support of its European Citizen's Initiative to stop the EU financing activities that entail the destruction of human embryos.
The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, Comece, condemned the resolution and said that the EU had no competence in the matter.
"In many EU member states abortion is illegal. Out of consideration for human dignity and the conviction that right to life is absolute, abortion is banned by law. The EU should respect and not interfere with decisions that do not fall within its sphere of competence," it said.