Maltese anti-abortion group Doctors for Life has slammed a draft European Parliament report identifying abortion as a human right.

The report by S&D group member Fred Matić is officially titled: "The situation
of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU from the perspective of women's health."

The so-called Matić report calls, among other things, for universal access to legal and safe abortion, maternal health care and sexual education across the EU.

The European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) adopted the report on May 11. This non-binding report is expected to be put to a plenary vote during the June II session.

In a statement, Doctors for Life criticised the report, arguing that it had no legal basis. 

"The report interferes with the principle of subsidiarity, whereby due recognition is given to the exclusive jurisdiction of Member States over the definition and management of their domestic health systems or their national health policy choices," the group said.

"It also attempts to introduce the recognition of a "right to abortion," although no such right exists, nor can it be derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. On the contrary, since the 1994 Cairo Conference, states have committed themselves to “reduce the recourse to abortion” and to “take appropriate steps to help women avoid abortion.”

The group also criticised the report for failing to allow for conscientious objection.

Doctors for Life, which is made up of doctors in different clinical fields and describes its goal as to "inform the public about the scientific facts related to preborn children, to sensitise people to the beauty and intrinsic value of human life and to encourage initiatives that support women in crisis pregnancies".

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