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Written declaration No. 645 | Doc. 14426 | 12 October 2017

Draft law to restrict access to abortion in Lithuania

Signatories: Ms Petra De SUTTER, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Lord Donald ANDERSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Doris BARNETT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Gülsün BİLGEHAN, Turkey, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Mr Ervin BUSHATI, Albania, NR ; Ms Klotilda BUSHKA, Albania, NR ; Mr José CEPEDA, Spain, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Raphaël COMTE, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Vanessa D'AMBROSIO, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Geraint DAVIES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Edite ESTRELA, Portugal, SOC ; Ms Doris FIALA, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Ute FINCKH-KRÄMER, Germany, SOC ; Lord George FOULKES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Bruno FUCHS, France, ALDE ; Mr Jean-Pierre GRIN, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Annette GROTH, Germany, UEL ; Mr Tore HAGEBAKKEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Matjaž HANŽEK, Slovenia, UEL ; Ms Alice-Mary HIGGINS, Ireland, SOC ; Mr Petri HONKONEN, Finland, ALDE ; Mr Andrej HUNKO, Germany, UEL ; Mr Valeri JABLIANOV, Bulgaria, SOC ; Mr Michael Aastrup JENSEN, Denmark, ALDE ; Ms Lotta JOHNSSON FORNARVE, Sweden, UEL ; Ms Anne KALMARI, Finland, ALDE ; Mr İlhan KESİCİ, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Eerik-Niiles KROSS, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Ertuğrul KÜRKÇÜ, Turkey, UEL ; Mr George LOUCAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Mr Edmon MARUKYAN, Armenia, ALDE ; Baroness Doreen MASSEY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Liliane MAURY PASQUIER, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Kerry McCARTHY, United Kingdom, SOC ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Bernard PASQUIER, Monaco, ALDE ; Mr John PRESCOTT, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Soraya RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Spain, SOC ; Ms Azadeh ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Ulla SANDBÆK, Denmark, UEL ; Mr Frank SCHWABE, Germany, SOC ; Mr Eduard SHALSI, Albania, SOC ; Mr Virendra SHARMA, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Angela SMITH, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Olena SOTNYK, Ukraine, ALDE ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Sylvain WASERMAN, France, ALDE ; Mr Phil WILSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Gisela WURM, Austria, SOC

This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.

We, the undersigned members of the Parliamentary Assembly, are strongly concerned about the introduction in the Lithuanian Parliament of a draft law that would strongly restrict women’s access to legal abortion leaving only two options for accessing the procedure: when women's life and health are in danger and in cases of rape.

If adopted, this law would put Lithuania among countries with the strictest laws on abortion in Europe and seriously affect many women and families particularly those poor and uneducated ones.

Academic studies, UN Reports and WHO have on numerous occasions proved that legal barriers to abortion services do not decrease the rate of abortion, but increase the risk of maternal mortality. The rate of abortions can only be reduced by improving the access to contraceptives, providing comprehensive information on family planning, and introducing better policies reconciling family and work.

By adopting the draft law, Lithuania will violate numerous international treaties and agreements to which Lithuania is a signatory.

All individuals are entitled to the highest attainable standard of health, which the State must ensure. We trust that Lithuania will continue guaranteeing this standard to its population.