Members of the European Parliament have rejected a report which suggested that abortion be defined as a 'human rights and public health concern,' reports The Catholic News Agency.
The rejection of the report affirms the ability of the individual nations in the European Union to promote their own approach to sexual education and abortion policies.
'The formulation and implementation of policies on sexual and reproductive health and rights and on sex education in schools is a competence of the member states,' stated the European People's Party and the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, two groups within the European Parliament who presented an alternative report that passed by a vote of 334 to 327, with 35 members abstaining from the vote.
The rejected report, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, had been submitted by Edite Estrela, a European Parliamentarian from Portugal, intended to establish abortion 'as a human rights and public health concern' in the EU.
As a result of this view of abortion as a right, the report sought to expand abortion in all countries of the EU and restrict 'obstacles to the access of appropriate services' such as conscientious objection, waiting periods, pro-life counseling, and religious hospitals' ability to refuse to perform certain 'sexual health' procedures such as abortion.
Estrela's report also called for the provision of 'sufficient funding for the broad (sexual and reproductive health and rights) agenda in all appropriate instruments' throughout the European Union.