Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

Report on safe and legal abortion in Europe

In a 2008 report, the Council of Europe’s Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men stated:

“The Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men considers that a ban on abortions does not result in fewer abortions, but mainly leads to clandestine abortions, which are more traumatic and more dangerous. By the same token, the Committee notes that in many of the states where abortion is legal, numerous conditions are imposed which restrict the effective access to safe abortion.”

“The Parliament invited Member States to:

1. decriminalize abortion, if they have not already done so;

2. guarantee women’s effective exercise of their right to abortion and lift restrictions which hinder, de jure or de facto, access to safe abortion;

3. adopt appropriate sexual and reproductive health strategies, including access of women and men to contraception at a reasonable cost and of a suitable nature for them as well as compulsory relationships and sex education for young people.”