John Smeaton (www.spuc-director.blogspot.com) gives a very lengthy and interesting account of the recent vote on HIV/AIDS that was taken in the European Parliament. It is sad and worrying to note that the resolution, which called for ‘safe and legal’ abortion as a way to prevent HIV/AIDS, was carried, despite rejection of it on the part of a good number of MEPs.
The website of European Dignity Watch reports as follows:
‘Unfortunately, all bad passages were adopted. […] In other words, the European Parliament is of the opinion that in order to contain this epidemic, the abortion of potential carriers of the virus is a legitimate means. Only one out of seven problematic passages was rejected by a majority of the EPP [European People’s Party] group (the group that contains Christian democrats) and about half of the Conservatives, however not enough to ban “safe and legal abortion” from the resolution.’
European Dignity Watch later wrote:
‘ […] on the occasion of World AIDS Day, a solid majority in the European Parliament voted on a resolution declaring that official EU policy for HIV/AIDS prevention should be closely linked to “sexual and reproductive rights” – including safe and legal abortion.‘Although a resolution to combat HIV/AIDS is indisputably worthy of parliamentary support, the amalgamation of HIV with abortion suggests an alarming underlying eugenic logic that seems to say: Possible carriers of the HIV virus should be preventively aborted in order to prevent further spreading of the disease.‘Prior to the vote by the European Parliament, no discussion at all was held on the real risk of HIV infection or even on the medical possibilities that exist to reduce its transmission. This is why we think it is important to give a few key facts about the medical reality of HIV in both developed and developing countries. […]’
Meanwhile, the humanist lobby is concerned that ‘several religious organisations launched an aggressive campaign to lobby MEPs and urge them to vote against three key paragraphs in the resolution. Their objective was to create a distinction between the fight against AIDS and reproductive rights and to make sure that MEPs removed contraception and abortion from the resolution. This campaign more generally aimed to limit – if not prevent – women’s sexual and reproductive rights. […]’
The humanists, however, ‘fought back’, but they are very concerned that although 369 MEPs voted in favour of one of the dangerous paragraphs (no. 22), 206 MEPs voted against it, which fact – say the humanists – ‘should keep us mobilised in the future.’
It is reported, too, that a UK Socialist MEP, Michael Cashman, pointed out during the plenary session of the debate that ‘a holistic approach, including contraception and abortion, is therefore necessary to prevent new contaminations.’ It is horrifying to think that in this day and age anyone could consider the killing of unborn babies to be ‘holistic’.
For the interest of the Irish electorate it should be noted that the usual suspects – Prionnsias de Rossa, Nessa Childers, Paul Murphy, et al. – were conspicuous in their support for the resolution in its entirety. However, sad to report, only MEPs Liam Aylward and Pat the Cope Gallagher voted against the resolution in its entirety in the final vote.