European Parliament adopts landmark position on sexual and reproductive rights

On June 24, the European Parliament endorsed a keynote report by Croatian MEP Predrag Fred Matic on “Sexual and Reproductive Health Status and Rights in the EU”.

Although the European Parliament has repeatedly expressed concern about the lack of awareness of women’s rights and gender equality and gross violations of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), this report is the first in the last 10 years to give the SRHR a degree of political significance at EU level.

The report covers the full scope of SRHR and emphasizes the importance of access to all SRHR essential services, including comprehensive sex education, contraception, abortion, maternal health and fertility services. Access to them is one of the most important means of preventing sexual and gender-based violence.

The vote sends a strong impetus that MEPs are fully committed to protecting and promoting the SRHR in the EU, while the existence of illiberal leaders, including within the EU, poses a significant human rights challenge in this regard.