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Every 15 minutes, somewhere in the world a woman dies following complications from an illegal abortion.

This is roughly 60,000 deaths each year due to abortion bans. The deaths and serious injuries from these abortions are almost all preventable through sexuality education, contraception and safe, legal procedures.

In Europe, we have made enormous progress, thanks to the feminist movement.

However, Malta still prohibits abortion in all circumstances and Poland only allows the termination of a pregnancy when a mother's life is at risk or it is a result of rape.

Worryingly, a backlash on women's rights is gaining momentum, eroding existing rights and endangering women's health. Extreme-right activists and anti-gender movements cannot stand increasingly independent and powerful women. The right to legal abortion is a key target of their attacks.

As progressive members of the European Parliament, we have been under attack too.

Almost a decade ago we called on MEPs to adopt a resolution recommending that legal and safe abortion procedures be available across the EU. Anti-choice organisations reacted furiously.

We were flooded with petitions, threats, social media attacks and spam emails calling for MEPs to reject the resolution. Some received over 80,000 emails in a matter of days in the lead up to the vote.

This massive anti-choice campaign derailed our efforts. A conservative-led resolution was adopted instead stating that sexual and reproductive health and rights fall under the national competences.

This Thursday (24 June) we have a chance to correct this and clearly stand side-by-side with Europe's women. In this week's resolution, we will vote to make it crystal clear that sexual and reproductive health rights are human rights and must be guaranteed for everyone, without discrimination.

Read the full text here

Article written by Iratxe García is the leader of the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament. Fred Matić is an MEP in the Socialists and Democrats group and the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the sexual and reproductive health and rights report.

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MEPs involved

GARCÍA PÉREZ Iratxe
GARCÍA PÉREZ Iratxe
President
Spain
FRITZON Heléne
FRITZON Heléne
Head of delegation
Vice-president
Sweden
NOICHL Maria
NOICHL Maria
Coordinator
Germany
BIEDROŃ Robert
BIEDROŃ Robert
Head of delegation
Member
Poland
MATIĆ Predrag Fred
MATIĆ Predrag Fred
Member
Croatia
REGNER Evelyn
REGNER Evelyn
Member
Austria

S&D press contact

Czerny-grimm Inga
CZERNY-GRIMM Inga
Press Officer
Poland

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