Signed by more than 185,000 citizens, the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) formally received the “Petition for the rights of new-borns surviving their abortion“, deciding to forward it to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

This is the largest petition ever presented to the PACE and it is an important first step that marks the beginning of the legal and political investigation of the petition by the parliamentarians. The PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human rights is now called to express its view on the importance of discussing the sensitive issue of new-borns surviving to an abortion.

(From right to left: Grégor Puppinck (ECLJ), Mark Neville (Head of Private Office) & Philippe Toussaint (FAFCE) Photo Credit: ECLJ)

The petition, launched by the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) and supported by the Federation of Catholic Family Associations (FAFCE) and the Office of International Catholic Child (BICE), follows the refusal of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the inability of the Committee of Ministers to affirm that all new-borns have the right to life and to health care.

The petition procedure is a formal instrument available to citizens for raising issues linked to the respect of human rights, in accordance with Article 65 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly. The submitted petition asks the Assembly “to investigate the practice of neonatal infanticide and to clearly condemn it” and particularly to recall that all human beings born alive have the same right to life, physical integrity and health care without discrimination based on the circumstances of their birth, in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Based on facts, documentation and data, this petition opens a political process that could lead to the clear condemnation of the practice of late abortion. Such a condemnation would be fully in line with the international legal framework and also with the mission of the Council of Europe, which is to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law – for all.

Read more about the petition here

The dossier submitted to the PACE can be found here