MEP Margarita de la Pisa is a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. She is a pharmacist and neuropsychologist. She is also a member of the Vox party (ECR group) and is married with eight children.
You spoke on March 25 at a meeting of two committees of the European Parliament, organized by the two Socialist chairmen of these committees to attack pro-life associations. You are a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and you defended the right to life and the work of pro-lifers. Were there other deputies or guest speakers to defend life? The European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), which was the target of accusations from the left in that debate, complained that it was not allowed to be present contrary to organizations linked to International Planned Parenthood.
This is true. Grégor Puppinck, the director of the ECLJ, wrote to the secretariat and all the members of the FEMM Committee so that he could participate because he wanted there to be a counterbalance to the other speakers, but his query was ignored. We, too, proposed speakers and we were also ignored. We wanted there to be some plurality, but they did not want to consider our suggestions either.
How is such a situation possible? Are not all sides listened to during debates in the European Parliament?
The reality is that in the European Parliament there is increasingly a single vision imposed by the majority. I think that in the battles that I usually participate in, which are the ones about gender ideology and abortion, it seems to the majority that the only version that corresponds to the truth is theirs. It has come to the point where, as I said the other day, it seems to them that pro-life associations are against human rights.
The right to life no longer seems to be an inalienable right. On the other hand, the right to abortion is now considered a human right, and not only that: the right to defend motherhood, to defend the pregnant woman, is considered to be an attack on women’s freedom, against women’s sexual and reproductive health. These are all interpretations that they make, which go against true human rights. It has reached the point that they think they can even condemn us and they can deny our version saying that it is outside the framework of the law, it is against human rights. The situation is very serious because this goes against freedom of expression. It is a verdict on what our thinking is like, on our beliefs. And not only that: it also excludes us, members of Parliament, from being able to carry out our political function, to defend our ideas, because they consider that the morally righteous attitude is to support abortion and that our version, which is to defend life and the pregnant woman, is morally indefensible.
In order to have the majority needed to exclude opponents of abortion from the debate in the European Parliament, it is necessary for the European People’s Party, the EPP, to support the left, is it not?
Yes. With regard to that hearing in the Women’s Committee and in the Committee on Foreign Interference, which were the two committees that participated, it must be said that there is no active EPP presence. What they do is that they do not participate. And when they participate, it is entirely in support of abortion. So the only opposition the left has encountered comes from the I&D and ECR groups.
And sometimes even that opposition is not so strong because the issue of abortion, the issue of life, is an issue that somehow they try to avoid. Due to political pressure in their respective countries, many Members of Parliament prefer not to speak out too much on these issues. I am fortunate that, in Spain, Vox, which is the political party to which I belong, is very clear about its position on abortion and allows me to take on the wonderful mission of defending life. I could not imagine it to be otherwise because I believe that there is no mission more important than defending the unborn, the pregnant woman. There is nothing uglier and sadder than not seeing the beauty of it. I believe that this society in which we are living has a shadow, a cloud of hopelessness cast over it, for supporting policies and laws that really go against human rights.
Can it be said of the Polish PiS that on abortion they defend the same position as Vox in the European Parliament?
Yes, PiS has a very clear position in defense of life. Indeed, thanks to Poland’s strong position due to the rulings of its constitutional court, it is a key country. I would even say that Poland is the last hope we have in Europe. If Poland did not maintain this clear and firm position on abortion, there really would not be a single country in Europe that would do so.
In Spain, for example, we have dreadful abortion laws, which have worsened with the leftist government and continue to worsen.
The Polish government is perhaps not so clear about its opposition to gender ideology. We from Vox make a more frontal attack because we live in an environment already made difficult and transformed by a law on gender violence that has been in force in Spain since 2004. And we have seen the consequences of something that seems harmless and that seems like it is going to support women and the dramatic consequences that it has on our society. In this sense, we push Poland to make them understand the scale of the problem of gender ideology. In Poland, they still have a protected environment, but they are unwittingly moving in the same direction as Spain did some years ago.
In a recent interview on Spanish Radio Ya, you said that the situation in Poland today is the same as the situation in Spain fifteen years ago. In your opinion, what should the Polish right do in order not to repeat the mistakes of the Spanish right?
They should oppose real resistance. What happens is that the agenda of the left is often accepted. Because the left is so aggressive and because its supposed values are always gift-wrapped in beautiful targets, and because it is unpopular not to support those targets, people on the right sometimes prefer to support them half-heartedly and they do not make the effort to dismantle the narrative for the sake of not being attacked in the first place. But you have to realize that you will be attacked sooner or later as it is happening to the Poles with abortion.
By leaving the abortion issue a little aside, they have not prevented Europe’s attack on Polish sovereignty. The same thing is going to happen with the issue of gender ideology. By letting it advance a little, they are contributing to it becoming a more serious issue. The evil and perversity of gender ideology are hard to see at first. It is an attack on the identity of the person, not just the woman. It is a confusing concept that sometimes refers to supporting women, and other times it blurs people’s sexual identity.
The Poles must be very firm about not allowing the left to impose its agenda on Poland. Because if they do allow that even to a limited extent, it may seem to them that the left’s agenda is not going anywhere, but it actually is. The smaller the problem, the easier it is to tackle it. Later on, it will only get bigger. The left’s agenda is advancing and it’s going to be harder and harder to stop it. It prevails because of the configuration of [the European] Parliament. The agenda of the left, which is also the globalist, environmental agenda, is accompanied by social objectives that seem very nice but then go hand in hand with a reduction of freedoms, interference in people’s lives, and national sovereignty. The problem is that in the European Parliament, the EPP is supporting that agenda. All groups from the EPP to the left are practically a bloc that all support the same things.
Why is the European Parliament debating abortion and preparing a new resolution in favor of free access to abortion in all Member States when the European Union has no competence in this area? Could it be that the European Parliament does not respect the European treaties and the rule of law?
This is exactly the case, and I think this is the most serious issue we have here. The European Parliament is using the abortion issue to move towards meddling in the sovereignty of nations. There is a document in the FEMM Committee that is going to be voted on on April 19 that is about reproductive rights and sexual and reproductive health, where it is categorically stated that abortion is a human right. They do understand that sexual and reproductive health and rights are a national competence, but they talk about international laws that in reality do not exist, inventing some kind of superior power above national states and above the European Union. For this reason, human rights in Europe are losing their essence, which is to protect the dignity and freedom of each person, because they are inventing new human rights which they consider to be supranational law, and even supra-European law, and with which they are trying to exercise power over everyone.
In this concrete case, the excuse is abortion but they are going to act the same way in all areas. For example, there is already talk of questioning freedom of religion and freedom of conscience because they consider religious freedom to be contrary to gender ideology. In 2013, there was already such a document on sexual and reproductive rights, the Estrela report, which was stopped because of the issue of subsidiarity.
It did not seem appropriate for the European Union, which had no competence, to take a position on this matter. But they are back on the attack now. As they have not been able to change the treaties, they have been changing the jurisprudence and creating international agencies that are supposedly independent but are clearly not democratic, such as the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Those agencies have the power to give verdicts or to draw Europe’s moral lines. As opposed to European values based on Christianity, they speak of new European values, and that is why there are now two versions of Europe. In the new version, human rights no longer derive from natural law, and this is disfiguring the legal systems of member countries.
And that is why I am seeking support in the European Parliament from people who are not necessarily pro-life because it is not just about abortion but about erasing what we have been until now in order to create this new order, this new reasoning, this new logic, which we do not really know where it is going to take us.
Do you not think that the new mechanism that is going to make European funds conditional on respect for the rule of law and European values will be very useful for the European Union to be able to impose this ideological agenda of the European left on all the Member States?
Exactly. This new morality is going to be imposed. Anyone who does not really comply with it will be punished. That seems very clear to me in the case of Poland. If it does not accept pro-abortion legislation, it will be prevented from accessing those funds. There will be tremendous blackmail pressure. But I ask Poland to stand firm.
The way in which they are going against Poland, so aggressively, over the Constitutional Court’s ruling on eugenic abortion shows very well the spirit of this new Europe. This new ideological agenda is contrary to Europe’s founding values that Poland stands for. Poland seems to be the last soldier standing right now, but I hope that more and more MEPs will join. I am hopeful that the departure of Fidesz from the EPP has made clear what we can expect from that group. The Hungarians tried to change it from within, but they lost hope and have now understood that it is time to go on a new path. I hope that this new path will unite all those MEPs, and there are many of us, who are eager to revive a Europe based on Western Christian values. I believe that this is a very important moment for Europe because the battle is not only not yet over: it is actually just beginning.