The European Parliament of the European Union rejected a report on Tuesday which recommended that EU nations declare abortion a human right and that abortion services be made legal, safe, and accessible within the public-health systems of every EU member state.
Three hundred and fifty one MPs voted to send the bill adopting the report back to committee, while 319 voted to kill the report outright.
Had the report been adopted it would have pressured generally pro-life nations, like Poland and Malta, to potentially provide abortions on demand. According to the Times of Malta, all Maltese MPS promised beforehand that they would vote against the report.
The report also recommended that all EU countries make abortions available to non-residents who seek abortions in Europe because they face restrictive abortion laws in their home countries.
The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality proposed the bill, arguing that it was in accordance with international law. Citing the 1994 U.N. International Conference on Population and Development’s Programme of Action, the committee argued that women should be able “to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so.”