World AIDS Day 2011: European Parliament adopts a resolution including “safe and legal abortion” as a means to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission


This World AIDS Day (December 1, 2011) was marked by the adoption of the “European Parliament Resolution on the EU response to HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries”, including the recommendation that the EU Member States develop “strong linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV services”. The Resolution asserts that abortion, specifically “safe and legal abortion,” is a critical health service necessary for the prevention of HIV/AIDS transmission.

As a global coalition of young people committed to promoting the dignity of the human person, the World Youth Alliance Europe (WYAE) urged Members of Parliament to maintain a focus on HIV/AIDS. WYAE advocates for a person-centered approach to HIV/AIDS, which is based on a holistic perception of the person’s needs in HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. Given the complexity of the disease and the extent of the pandemic, the challenge of combating HIV/AIDS must be met with a separate and specific response. Services associated with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) such as abortion and access to contraceptives do not respond to the root causes of the disease. The conflation of SRHR with HIV/AIDS represents a severe disservice to all affected by the disease.

The SRHR language was passed by a strong majority, and is a significant step in the attempt to establish a link between HIV/AIDS and abortion. However, the vote on the inclusion of the ‘safe and legal abortion’ language had the smallest margin, which indicates that a significant number of MEPs (over 200) were not in favor of linking abortion to HIV/AIDS prevention.Ultimately, the Resolution failed to incorporate language emphasizing the need to build a culture of individual responsibility. WYA will continue to advocate for policies that respond to the broad spectrum of human needs, and to oppose attempts to limit the HIV/AIDS response to the realm of SRHR.

For more information: Juan Ignacio Fernandez Torres, WYA Europe Director of Advocacy
Email:  Phone: +32 2 732 7605 

Read the World Youth Alliance Approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Find this press release in PDF here.  

About the organization:
The World Youth Alliance is a global coalition of young people dedicated to promoting the dignity of the human person in policy and culture and to building solidarity between young people of developing and developed nations. With approximately one million members from more than 160 countries, the World Youth Alliance is one of the biggest coalitions of young people worldwide. Regional offices are located in Brussels (Europe), Manila (Asia Pacific), Mexico City (Latin America), Nairobi (Africa), New York (North America and headquarters).