EP and NGOs want broad access to abortion for Ukrainian women


Eastern Europe


Izabela-Helena Kloc from the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) in the European Parliament. Photo Facebook

Against the background of the war between Russia and Ukraine, several organisations have made access to abortion for Ukrainian women a top priority. Some want to abolish funding for aid organisations that oppose abortion.

Based on Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter Swedish Christian newspaper Världen idag writes that abortion pills and other medicines are sent with relief shipments to raped women in Ukraine following reports of sexual violence by Russian soldiers against the population. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), for example, has sent around 25,000 packages of so-called morning-after pills. The organisation also sends medicines for medical abortions to hospitals in the country.

NGOs and the European Parliament have raised the issue of contraception and abortion for women in and from Ukraine. Amnesty International and IPPF are two of a long list of organisations calling on the EU and other donors to ensure that Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia "facilitate the removal of legal and political barriers" to, among other things, medical abortion.

In these countries, access to contraception and abortion is not as easy as in Ukraine. In the war-torn country abortion is allowed up to the 12th week of pregnancy, and both the morning-after pill and contraceptives are sold over the counter in pharmacies.

Traumatised with abortion

But organisations want to go further than that. They believe that donors such as the EU "should ensure that no financial support goes to organisations in Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia or Ukraine that are against sexual and reproductive rights, and gender equality". In this context, these terms include both abortion and day-after-pills.

On 5 May, the EP adopted by a large majority a resolution calling for "the EU, host and transit countries to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health, in particular, emergency contraception and HIV medicines and abortion care". However, not all parties reacted enthusiastically. "I see that some of you in this room want Ukrainian women, who have been traumatised by bombs, to be traumatised again with abortion. They need food and medicine", said Polish Izabela-Helena Kloc from the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).



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