The Socialists and Democrats oppose foreign interference and financing of anti-choice organisations in the European Union. Sources from Russia and America in particular have invested a lot in these campaigns to push for a general ban on abortion. In order to stop this interference, the S&Ds call for more transparency and better rules on foreign funding for NGOs and foundations in Europe.
To put the spotlight on the problem of foreign interference to ban abortion, S&D MEPs Evelyn Regner and Raphaël Glucksmann co-chaired a special hearing with experts. You can watch it here: https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/femm-inge_20210325-1545-COMMITTEE-FEMM-INGE_vd
S&D MEP Evelyn Regner, chair of the committee on women’s rights and gender equality, said:
“For quite some time, we have been witnessing a growing backlash against women’s rights and gender equality in some member states. Numerous attempts and efforts have been made to limit women’s decisions about their own bodies and to restrict their lives. The ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention remains incomplete and new forms of violence are taking up social and digital space: hate speech, misogyny and cyber violence. Moreover, women’s rights organisations in some member states experience more and more difficulties in accessing public funding.
“At the same time, we are learning about the growing financial flows originating from outside the EU – from Russia, the USA and other places – to European anti-choice organisations, which actively work towards undermining sexual education and attack women’s right to decide over their own bodies. This is inacceptable. This foreign interference is an attack on fundamental rights in Europe and our democracy. We need more and better rules to reduce these dark money in-flows from abroad.”
Raphaël Glucksmann, S&D MEP and chair of the committee on foreign interference in democratic processes, added:
“Interference in our democratic lives does not only concern our electoral processes, it also aims at influencing ideological and ethical debates in our societies. The issue we addressed is extremely serious. It concerns our core beliefs and values. We have seen in recent history that some foreign hostile powers use social issues, such as legislation on abortion, the defence of women’s rights, or the protection of minorities, in order to push their agendas onto our societies and increase the artificial polarisation within our societies. This interference must stop. European citizens should not be manipulated by an ideological agenda shaped abroad and imposed on them through foreign money.”