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European Parliament elects an anti-abortion President

Roberta Metsola has been elected as the youngest ever President of the European Parliament and the first woman in the role for 20 years

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A few years ago, Roberta Metsola joined her Maltese EP colleagues in saying they were ‘categorically against abortion’.
A few years ago, Roberta Metsola joined her Maltese EP colleagues in saying they were ‘categorically against abortion’.

N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column

Roberta Metsola has been elected as the youngest ever President of the European Parliament and the first woman in the role for 20 years. The Maltese national takes over from the Italian David Sassoli who died last week after a serious illness. Ms Metsola said in her introductory speech “I will honour David Sassoli.. by always standing up for Europe, for our common values of democracy, dignity, justice, solidarity, equality, the rule of law, and fundamental rights’.  Women’s reproductive rights, however, are not included in her enumeration.

This election can be considered as an enormous embarrassment to the memory of the unforgettable Simone Veil, the first elected female EP President, who, in 1979!, as a Minister established abortion laws in France.

A few years ago, Roberta Metsola joined her Maltese EP colleagues in saying they were ‘categorically against abortion’.  The Parliament has repeatedly called for these rights to be better protected and has seriously criticised the Polish government for infringements of them; but the predominantly Roman Catholic country Malta, ms Metsola’ s home country,  is the only EU member state to have a complete ban on abortion. That is not a problem at all for the EP with its tradition of double standards: one for Malta and a contrary one for Poland.

Ms Metsola’ s election  brought back the memory of the visit to the EP plenary, a few years ago, of Pope Francis. He was loudly and enthusiastically welcomed and applauded by all the members of the parliament including the female deputies, despite the fact that the Pope is the leader of the biggest global organisation which does not recognise women as equal to men, allows them only in subordinate functions in the church and is fiercely against abortion.

 

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