Members of the European Parliament have passed the controversial Van Lancker report, by 280 votes to 240, with 28 abstentions. The report, drawn up by the European Parliament’s women’s rights committee, calls for the legalization of abortion and easy access to the “morning-after” pill in all European Union member states and applicant countries.

The report states that “in order to safeguard women’s reproductive health and rights, abortion should be made legal, safe and accessible to all.”

An amendment tabled by the European People’s Party, which states that “reproductive health falls within the members states’ sphere of competence,” was passed. Unfortunately, further amendments made to improve the text were turned down.

The report also calls for abortifacient drugs to be made available “over-the-counter and at affordable prices, as standard practice within sexual and reproductive health care.” It allows fertility treatment for same-sex partners by asking them to “provide access to sexual and reproductive health services without any discrimination based on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.”

The report bashed the Bush administration’s Mexico City Policy, which bans funds to groups promoting abortion, and calls on the European Commission to “fill in the budgetary gap provoked by the Mexico City Policy.” The EU has since, in fact, increased its funding of international organizations promoting and committing abortion.