Brussels, 24th June 2024

On Friday, the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE) sent a letter to Albanian leaders urging for the withdrawal of the draft law On Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Addressed to the Speaker of the Albanian parliament Lindita Nikolla and all its elected members (as well as for the information of Prime Minister Edi Rama, President Bajram Begaj, and Minister for Health Albana Koçiu), it warns that the law would “deteriorate ethical standards” in the country. FAFCE also wrote to the Ambassador of Albania to the EU, Suela Janina, to notify her of the letter and invite her to a conversation about the law’s topics.

Signed by FAFCE President Vincenzo Bassi, the correspondence to Albanian leaders follows reports published by the Albanian Pro Family and Life Coalition. The Coalition is running a petition campaign calling for the “prohibition of the draft law initiated by the Ministry of Health On Sexual and Reproductive Health, which paves the way for surrogacy and sterilization, and encourages or expands the practices of abortion and sterilization at a young age”. In addition, the Coalition have been organising demonstrations that have reached thousands of people across Albania in opposition to the law. FAFCE’s letter refers to “the numerous voices coming from civil society, legal and scientific experts, a diverse collection of religious denominations and victims of human trafficking” campaigning for a withdrawal of the law.

Indeed, the communication goes on to say that “such a change appears to ignore the European Union’s inclusion of the exploitation of surrogacy in the list of human trafficking crimes”, which the Council of the European Union approved last month. On the grounds of human dignity for mother and child, as well as the exploitation of “vulnerable women in developing countries”, FAFCE urges Albanian representatives to prevent the draft becoming law.

Similarly, FAFCE raises the draft law’s favouring of abortion, “without addressing the root causes that lead a woman to refuse a life in her womb”. Citing Albanian Saint Mother Theresa, FAFCE recalled her words that “the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion”, particularly in the context of a Europe in the midst of a devastating war.

The draft law “risks reducing Albania to a marketplace of human procreation, with no proposals for letting life flourish through the family – the real treasure of your beautiful country”, wrote President Vincenzo Bassi on behalf of FAFCE. “We ask you to listen to the voice of the people and, respecting democratic principles and procedures, to prevent this draft to become law”, he continues.

The letter ends with an urgent plea to respond to the undermining of human dignity in Albania and on the continent as a whole: “we believe that Albania is Europe. But, today, the future of Albania is at stake. The future of Europe is also at stake.”