MEP Diana Riba defends the right of safe and legal abortion in the European Union

EFA MEP Diana Riba spoke this morning in the plenary debate on “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” in the European Union. Ms Riba defended the right of women and girls to freely decide whether or not to continue their pregnancy. Currently, countries such as Malta, Hungary and Poland are among the most critical opponents of the legalisation of abortion in the European Union. During her speech, Diana Riba MEP said: “According to WHO, 47,000 pregnant women die every year from unsafe abortions, and more than 16 million teenagers give birth mainly due to forced sex and unwanted pregnancies.” 

The United Nations estimates that between 80,000 and 150,000 Polish women travel abroad each year to have an abortion, putting their lives at risk because they cannot get one in their home country. In September 2021, the European Parliament decided to advocate for the inclusion of gender-based violence in the list of Eurocrimes. Ms Riba spoke on this issue: “So last September, the European Parliament adopted a report calling for the inclusion of gender-based violence in the list of Eurocrimes. And the text – was very clear on the issue we are dealing with today: the lack of access to safe and legal abortion is a form of gender-based violence.”  

In her closing remarks, MEP Riba stressed the importance of Parliament standing up for women’s rights.  “For all these reasons, it is important that today, from the institution that represents the will of European citizens, we affirm that in this House fundamental rights are defended and this includes, of course, our sexual and reproductive rights. They are our bodies and therefore we decide.”