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Council of Europe votes to decriminalise abortion

pro-choice

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Today the Council of Europe voted by 102 votes to 69 (14 abstentions) to decriminalise abortion.

While the report is non-binding, ie. it cannot legally force any Council of Europe Member State to change it's legislation, it provides strong evidence of the level of consensus reached across Europe. Going forward this vote will be referred to in the European Court of Human Rights and by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe.

The Report requires a response of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, composed of the 47 national Minister in charge of health, to respond to the Parliamentary Assembly's requests to decriminalise abortion and take action on improving access to contraception. Concretely, this would mean that all of Europe's Ministers would have to discuss the possibility of a common European approach to decriminalising abortion.

It should be remembered that it is exactly via this Council of Europe mechanism, that the first steps towards the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were raised back in the 1970s and 1980s and are now a basic condition of membership in the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Similarly, it is via conditions agreed within the Council of Europe that all European countries have now abolished the death penalty.

In sum, this is the first ever an official text agreed by an European Institution explicitly calls for a de-criminalisation of abortion across Europe on the basis of women’s rights. It is a significant victory for pro-choice advocates.
 


Aindriu

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About time too. At last a step in the right direction.
 

A_man_about_a_dog

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Aindriu said:
About time too. At last a step in the right direction.
Ditto
 

Catalpa

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pro-choice said:
Today the Council of Europe voted by 102 votes to 69 (14 abstentions) to decriminalise abortion.

While the report is non-binding, ie. it cannot legally force any Council of Europe Member State to change it's legislation, it provides strong evidence of the level of consensus reached across Europe. Going forward this vote will be referred to in the European Court of Human Rights and by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe.

The Report requires a response of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, composed of the 47 national Minister in charge of health, to respond to the Parliamentary Assembly's requests to decriminalise abortion and take action on improving access to contraception. Concretely, this would mean that all of Europe's Ministers would have to discuss the possibility of a common European approach to decriminalising abortion.

It should be remembered that it is exactly via this Council of Europe mechanism, that the first steps towards the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were raised back in the 1970s and 1980s and are now a basic condition of membership in the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Similarly, it is via conditions agreed within the Council of Europe that all European countries have now abolished the death penalty.

In sum, this is the first ever an official text agreed by an European Institution explicitly calls for a de-criminalisation of abortion across Europe on the basis of women’s rights. It is a significant victory for pro-choice advocates.
Similarly, it is via conditions agreed within the Council of Europe that all European countries have now abolished the death penalty

Except for the Unborn. :evil:
 
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88
Catalpa said:
pro-choice said:
Today the Council of Europe voted by 102 votes to 69 (14 abstentions) to decriminalise abortion.

While the report is non-binding, ie. it cannot legally force any Council of Europe Member State to change it's legislation, it provides strong evidence of the level of consensus reached across Europe. Going forward this vote will be referred to in the European Court of Human Rights and by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe.

The Report requires a response of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, composed of the 47 national Minister in charge of health, to respond to the Parliamentary Assembly's requests to decriminalise abortion and take action on improving access to contraception. Concretely, this would mean that all of Europe's Ministers would have to discuss the possibility of a common European approach to decriminalising abortion.

It should be remembered that it is exactly via this Council of Europe mechanism, that the first steps towards the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were raised back in the 1970s and 1980s and are now a basic condition of membership in the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Similarly, it is via conditions agreed within the Council of Europe that all European countries have now abolished the death penalty.

In sum, this is the first ever an official text agreed by an European Institution explicitly calls for a de-criminalisation of abortion across Europe on the basis of women’s rights. It is a significant victory for pro-choice advocates.
Similarly, it is via conditions agreed within the Council of Europe that all European countries have now abolished the death penalty

Except for the Unborn. :evil:
Sounds like a horror film :)
 

baldur0300

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PACE can call for anything they want and the members can simply ignore it. It is the ultimate talking shop. Abortion is something inherently within the competence of the states that form the council of europe not the council itself. If worst comes to worst we can simply leave it. The CoE has no real relevance in post-EU Europe.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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Important to remember that the CoE is not an EU institution, and that as such this does not impact on the Lisbon debate.
 

jayblue

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on the council of europe web page, cannot seem to find who voted for and vote against, it would be interesting to see how the irish members voted and which 4 went over to the vote today
 

kittyn

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A_man_about_a_dog said:
Aindriu said:
About time too. At last a step in the right direction.
Ditto
Also agree but will it ever happen here or will the trips to the UK continue for ever.......?
 

NotDevsSon

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Anyone why thinks the CoE motion is worth the paper it is written on is living in cloud cuckooland. If it ever tried to intervene internally in the abortion debate there would be mass resignations from the CoE of about 1/3 of its members, ranging from those who are opposed to abortion to others who while they allow abortion will not accept any CoE interference with their own ability to decide on the issue. The latter includes states with very liberal abortion rules and who have made it clear at state level to the CoE that they will never allow CoE "interference" on the issue in case the CoE might be used to restrict its more liberal abortion approach.

So if the CoE sought to in any way set the agenda on abortion, states ranging from Poland to Malta to the Uk, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy and others would all quit the CoE en masse. The CoE knows that which is why it has let governments know that the motion is as worthless as a three euro note.
 

pro-choice

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jayblue said:
on the council of europe web page, cannot seem to find who voted for and vote against, it would be interesting to see how the irish members voted and which 4 went over to the vote today

Terry Leyden against
Celia Keaveney against
Pat Breen against
Joe Costello abstained
 

pro-choice

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NotDevsSon said:
Anyone why thinks the CoE motion is worth the paper it is written on is living in cloud cuckooland. If it ever tried to intervene internally in the abortion debate there would be mass resignations from the CoE of about 1/3 of its members, ranging from those who are opposed to abortion to others who while they allow abortion will not accept any CoE interference with their own ability to decide on the issue. The latter includes states with very liberal abortion rules and who have made it clear at state level to the CoE that they will never allow CoE "interference" on the issue in case the CoE might be used to restrict its more liberal abortion approach.

So if the CoE sought to in any way set the agenda on abortion, states ranging from Poland to Malta to the Uk, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy and others would all quit the CoE en masse. The CoE knows that which is why it has let governments know that the motion is as worthless as a three euro note.
Certainly the Catholic Church thought is was important vote with considerable lobbying of politicians in advance of the vote.

It is important to clarify what the CoE voted on. That is to decriminalise abortion, if they have not already done so.

CoE has not sought to interfere where abortion is legal so today countries with liberal abortion laws supported the resolution.

The only countries that criminalise abortion are Malta, Poland and Ireland. This resolution was clearly aimed at those countries.

Increasingly access to abortion services are being considered as a human right. By having a very extreme law in Ireland (not legislating for X and forcing pregnant women with fatal feotal abnormalities into the courts) the Irish State is contributing to the situation.
 

baldur0300

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pro-choice said:
Certainly the Catholic Church thought is was important vote with considerable lobbying of politicians in advance of the vote.

It is important to clarify what the CoE voted on. That is to decriminalise abortion, if they have not already done so.

CoE has not sought to interfere where abortion is legal so today countries with liberal abortion laws supported the resolution.

The only countries that criminalise abortion are Malta, Poland and Ireland. This resolution was clearly aimed at those countries.

Increasingly access to abortion services are being considered as a human right. By having a very extreme law in Ireland (not legislating for X and forcing pregnant women with fatal feotal abnormalities into the courts) the Irish State is contributing to the situation.
You don't seem to understand the point that NDS is making. As a matter of principle, states within the CoE will not allow their national policies to be dicatated by such a body. If the Council were to go so far as to say that abortion services must be provided by all states, it would be taking an unprecendented stance well outside the competence of the body.
 

pro-choice

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baldur0300 said:
pro-choice said:
Certainly the Catholic Church thought is was important vote with considerable lobbying of politicians in advance of the vote.

It is important to clarify what the CoE voted on. That is to decriminalise abortion, if they have not already done so.

CoE has not sought to interfere where abortion is legal so today countries with liberal abortion laws supported the resolution.

The only countries that criminalise abortion are Malta, Poland and Ireland. This resolution was clearly aimed at those countries.

Increasingly access to abortion services are being considered as a human right. By having a very extreme law in Ireland (not legislating for X and forcing pregnant women with fatal feotal abnormalities into the courts) the Irish State is contributing to the situation.
You don't seem to understand the point that NDS is making. As a matter of principle, states within the CoE will not allow their national policies to be dicatated by such a body. If the Council were to go so far as to say that abortion services must be provided by all states, it would be taking an unprecendented stance well outside the competence of the body.
baldur0300 please see my first post on this thread. I accept that it is non-binding. But going forward this vote will be referred to in the European Court of Human Rights and by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe.

Of course States can ignore these bodies as well. The Irish state ignored the European Court of Human Rights in the Norris case for years. However in doing that Ireland put itself out the consensus within Europe on gay rights. For oblivious reasons States do not like to be outside the consensus on human rights issues.
 

baldur0300

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pro-choice said:
baldur0300 please see my first post on this thread. I accept that it is non-binding. But going forward this vote will be referred to in the European Court of Human Rights and by the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe.

Of course States can ignore these bodies as well. The Irish state ignored the European Court of Human Rights in the Norris case for years. However in doing that Ireland put itself out the consensus within Europe on gay rights. For oblivious reasons States do not like to be outside the consensus on human rights issues.
I know that you accept that CoE is non-binding, the point that I was making and something the NDS said as well is that PACE is a very limited body. Not only are its views non-binding but it does not have the competence to issue any such proclaimations or demands and if the body were to do so, other countries may threaten to leave on a point of principle.

Ireland has always been outside the Western European consensus as regards abortion. So what? The Supreme Court has in the past threatened to reject any attempt by the ECJ to interfere with our abortion laws, a court which is far more powerful than the ECtHR and far more relevant to our international interests. I have no doubt that any attempt by the ECtHR to interfere would be met with similar contempt.
 

MartinP

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pro-choice said:
In sum, this is the first ever an official text agreed by an European Institution explicitly calls for a de-criminalisation of abortion across Europe on the basis of women’s rights. It is a significant victory for pro-choice advocates.
And a possible significant defeat for children. Absolutely disgusting.
 

hiding behind a poster

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pro-choice said:
By having a very extreme law in Ireland (not legislating for X and forcing pregnant women with fatal feotal abnormalities into the courts) the Irish State is contributing to the situation.
"Pro-choice", you know full well that termination of pregnancy when a medical condition or abnormality threatens the life of the mother does NOT require any court intervention whatsoever. Medical ethics and procedures entitle the relevant medical professionals to terminate such a pregnancy, WITHOUT reference to the courts or the State.
 

Hobo Sapiens

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Apparently, a foetus younger than 20 weeks cannot survive outside the womb, even with medical intervention. Would that not be a reasonable cut-off point? Abort up to 20 weeks, but that's it (although we could make a post-natal exception for b ahern).
 

baldur0300

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Hobo Sapiens said:
Apparently, a foetus younger than 20 weeks cannot survive outside the womb, even with medical intervention. Would that not be a reasonable cut-off point? Abort up to 20 weeks, but that's it (although we could make a post-natal exception for b ahern).
There are plenty of thread to discuss the substantive issue if you want. No point turning this thread into another abortion discussion.
 

tonys

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pro-choice said:
The only countries that criminalise abortion are Malta, Poland and Ireland. This resolution was clearly aimed at those countries.

Increasingly access to abortion services are being considered as a human right. By having a very extreme law in Ireland (not legislating for X and forcing pregnant women with fatal feotal abnormalities into the courts) the Irish State is contributing to the situation.
If the EU is ever looking for a battle it is guaranteed to lose, it should pick this one and choose Ireland as the battleground.
 


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