On July 14 2022, an Imgur user shared a screenshot of a tweet with the claim that the European Parliament had then-recently voted to condemn the decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade:
Titled “For the record …..,” the Imgur post showed a screengrab of a tweet from July 7 2022, a little more than a week prior to the post’s publication. Neither the post nor the depicted tweet included a link to a news article about the purported measure; a reverse image search did not immediately link the photograph to any sort of coverage of the parliamentary activity described.
On July 7 2022, a screenshot of the tweet was also shared to Reddit’s r/WhitePeopleTwitter:
However, we easily found coverage. On July 7 2022, Axios.com published “EU parliament votes to condemn overturning of Roe v. Wade,” reporting:
The European Parliament voted 324-155, with 38 abstentions, to condemn the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and demand that abortion rights be enshrined in the EU’s fundamental rights charter.
A July 7 2022 Associated Press article about the vote provided commentary from European legislators, some of whom expressed concern that the developments in the United States could potentially influence human rights in European countries:
“It teaches us a lesson: Women’s and girls’ human rights can never be taken for granted, and we must always fight to defend them,” Swedish politician Helene Fritzon, who is vice president of an parliamentary alliance of Socialists and Democrats, said.
Underscoring fears that anti-abortion movements might expand in Europe, some legislators said they wanted to see EU-wide protections adopted.
“The United States has clearly shown why we must use every tool available to safeguard abortion rights in the European Union,” said Stéphane Séjourné the president of the liberal Renew Europe group in the EU Parliament.
The resolution calls on member nations to add a sentence reading “Everyone has a right to safe and legal abortion” to the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
In addition to the vote, the European Parliament amplified their concern in a press release on July 7 2022. It expressed concern and support for American women, and called for American lawmakers to act:
MEPs [members of the European Parliament] strongly condemn once more the backsliding in women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights in the US and in some EU member states.
The right to abortion should be included in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, MEPs urge in a resolution on the US Supreme Court decision to overturn abortion rights in the United States and the need to safeguard abortion rights and women’s heath in the EU, adopted with 324 in favour, 155 against and 38 abstentions. A proposal should be submitted to the Council to amend Article 7 of the Charter adding that “everyone has the right to safe and legal abortion.” MEPs expect the European Council to meet to discuss a Convention to revise the EU Treaties, as already stated in their resolution on 9 June .
MEPs express their solidarity with and support for women and girls in the US, as well as to those involved in both providing and advocating for the right and access to legal and safe abortion care in such challenging circumstances. Given this, they call for the US Congress to pass a bill that would protect abortion at federal level.
They are also concerned about a possible surge in funding for anti-gender and anti-choice groups in the world, including in Europe. They urge member states to decriminalise abortion, and to remove and combat the remaining legal, financial, social and practical restrictions still hampering access in some member states.
EU countries should guarantee access to safe, legal and free abortion services, pre-natal and maternal healthcare services, voluntary family planning, youth-friendly services, and to HIV prevention, treatment and support, without discrimination, the resolution says. The Commission and member states should step up their political support for human rights defenders and healthcare providers working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), it adds.
The European Parliament was not the only international group to express dismay with respect to human rights in the United States. On June 24 2022, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF) issued a statement addressing the decision:
MSF statement on SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade
June 24, 2022 — Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides safe abortion care as a critical part of our comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services around the world. We do not run medical operations in the US, but we see the devastating consequences in countries where people do not have access to safe and legal abortion. MSF-USA President Africa Stewart, an OB-GYN based in Atlanta, issued a statement today in response to the US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade …
A June 14 2022 Imgur post claimed that the European Parliament voted 325 to 155 in favor of condemning the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Although news of the vote circulated in screenshot form, it was covered in the news shortly after the vote transpired. In addition to the vote, the EU issued a press release to “strongly condemn… backsliding in women’s rights” throughout the United States.