Catholic organizations across the world criticized the European Parliament in June for approving a radical pro-abortion report that puts pressure on countries to legalize abortions without limits and eliminate conscience protections for medical workers.

In a statement, 14 Catholic organizations said abortion is not a “human right,” as the report claims, because abortion destroys human lives, according to the Catholic News Agency.

“Abortion eliminates an innocent human life and has grave physical and psychological consequences for women who undergo it, and harmful consequences for those who procure it,” they said in the statement published June 23. “Moreover, this proposal would undermine the right of conscientious objection, which is essential to true progress and equality in our societies.”

Members of the European Parliament voted 378-255 in favor of the Matić Report on June 24 after an intense debate and several failed attempts to block the document. An additional 42 members abstained from voting.

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The report describes abortion as “essential healthcare” and advocates for its expansion. It also advocates against the conscience rights of medical workers, portraying their refusal to help abort unborn babies as a “denial of medical care,” according to CNA.

The Catholic organizations said the report calls for the opposite of what society should be doing to protect the most vulnerable.

“We call for the defense of the right to life for the most vulnerable of our societies, the integral health of our women and families, and the conscience rights of healthcare professionals,” they said.

Groups that signed the statement included the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, C-Fam, Priests for Life, MaterCare International in Canada, the Pope John XXIII Community in Italy, and Femina Europa in France.

Opposition to the radical pro-abortion resolution came from all across the continent. Pro-life advocates in Poland, Spain, Slovakia, France, Malta and other countries warned that the report threatens basic human rights and the sovereignty of individual countries.

Prior to the vote, Polish MEP Jadwiga Wiśniewska and Spanish MEP Margarita de la Pisa Carrión blasted the report as pro-abortion, anti-woman and anti-child, Politico reported in June. In a written opinion, they said the report urges women “to turn their backs on fertility and motherhood.”

“It treats abortion as a purported human right that does not exist in international law,” they continued. “This is a breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the main binding treaties, as well as of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

The European Centre for Law and Justice, one of the leading groups that advocated against the report, warned people not to underestimate its impact.

“… although the resolutions of the European Parliament have no binding legal value, they are the expression of an opinion that the Parliament wishes to make known,” the organization said in a statement. “A resolution may subsequently serve to politically legitimize action by the member states or the institutions; it is intended to produce practical effects.”

The centre said the report will put pressure on countries to legalize abortion on demand and end their conscience protection laws.

Most European countries have stronger limits on abortion than the U.S., though most allow abortions without limits through the first trimester and sometimes into the second. Most countries also force taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions and some have very limited protections for doctors and nurses who object to participating in these killings.

Malta and Poland still protect unborn babies by banning abortions, but they are facing intense pressure to legalize abortion on demand. Gibraltar voted to legalize abortion in June.

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