In a 324-155 vote this week, the European Union Parliament passed a resolution condemning the Supreme Court of the United States for overturning Roe v. Wade. This is now the second time the EU Parliament has denounced the United States over the legal decision, claiming it undermines “human rights.”
Abortion isn’t even tangentially mentioned in the Constitution. But guess what? The European Union’s constitution, with its 448 articles and more than 70,000 words micromanaging the continent’s affairs, doesn’t mention “abortion” anywhere, either. Abortion isn’t a constitutional “right” in the EU. It isn’t a constitutional “right” in any EU member state. There is no pan-European law dictating the issue of abortion. If terminating an unwanted child is a fundamental human right, as so many Europeans now claim, why did they forget to mention it in a constitution that was only ratified in 2004?
It should also be noted that, for the foreseeable future, most U.S. states will have abortion laws that are laxer than those in most of Europe. The Czech Republic, Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain all have tighter restrictions on abortion than Sith Lord Ron DeSantis’s Florida. In Ukraine, a nation cleared for EU membership, and the bulwark of all world freedom, women must request abortions in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, unless the mother’s health is in danger — just like in Russia. Even nations like the Netherlands and Sweden, where laws are somewhat more permissive, are still stricter than places like Colorado, New York, or California.
Now, of course, even if European nations had policies that allowed abortions into the third trimester, as the Democrats are pushing to do nationally, or as many blue states already permit, it still wouldn’t make any difference. One, because Dobbs did not make any ruling on abortion. Two, because we have no reason to look to Europe for moral guidance.
Terminating the life of a baby because it is disabled or dying is a violation of basic human rights, and yet it happens with horrifying frequency in Europe — sometimes with the knowledge of the mother, sometimes without. 2002’s Groningen Protocol protects doctors who perform pediatric euthanasia — already widespread in Europe at the time of its passage. Two Lancet studies, for example, found that around 8 percent of all infants who die in the Netherlands are killed by doctors. But there is evidence that state doctors pressure women to kill unborn children with potential disabilities not only in nations with shoddy ethics, such as Belgium or the Netherlands, but across the continent. (I cover this topic in my recent book).
There are no genuine countervailing societal forces in Europe, no faith-based movements, powerful enough to spur a debate about the lack of ethical guardrails on life. Instead, government bureaucracies unilaterally decide what a life is worth. And often, it’s not worth much. We have absolutely no reason to listen to any lectures from these people.
But aside from all of that, it’s none of Europe’s business. A PBS story on the vote contends that the resolution “crystalized the anger seen in many of the EU’s 27 member countries since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling on June 24.” Who cares about their anger? After reading quotes from numerous European activists and parliamentarians, it’s clear that most of them have no idea what Dobbs does or how the American system even works. (In their defense, it’s also somewhat of a problem among our own experts.)
If we had a proper president, he would be blasting the EU for involving itself in the domestic affairs of its generous patron. Because it’s one thing for us to disagree on policy, and another to allow second-rate pseudo-democracies with long, bloody histories to reprimand our institutions for following the law. Has Congress ever condemned the domestic policy of any Western European nation, much less a legal decision? These nations are habitually undercutting religious freedom and free speech, and yet all our parliament does is send them more cash.
David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist. Harsanyi is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of five books—the most recent, Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. His work has appeared in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reason, New York Post, and numerous other publications. Follow him on Twitter, @davidharsanyi.