18:00 - 20:00
Vienna, Austria
Supporting rather than criminalising women

In order to give you access to our events, FEPS processes your personal data together with any other organiser of this event mentioned in the description of the event and in accordance with 'FEPS’ data protection policy. Once registered to one of our events, it is FEPS’ legitimate interest to send you our Newsletter to which you can oppose at any time.

Being able to decide about one’s own body is far from self-evident for women across the EU. Improvements in women’s rights have not prevented the right to safe access to abortion to remain a recurring topic of controversy and tension across Europe. 

To take a national example, a milestone in Austria’s struggle for self-determined models of birth control was marked by the decision to regulate the period in 1973. Countering the conservative and far-right pressures, access to abortion in the first 12 weeks was eventually exempted from criminalisation. A compromise had to be found between complete liberalisation of abortion and outright criminalisation. Opposition to abortion had been (and still is) fierce. 

In 1973, the landmark decision on abortion rights was made in the USA with the Roe vs. Wade ruling. Just 50 years later, this landmark decision was overturned, and access to reproductive rights was restricted again. Across Europe and within the EU institutions, progressive policy-makers are fighting for reproductive rights in the name of women’s most fundamental rights. 

The new discourse analysis offered by Prof. Bérengère Marques-Pereira in the book ‘Abortion in the European Union: Actors, Issues and Debates‘ will be at the heart of this event jointly organised by the Karl-Renner-Institut and FEPS on 03 October (18:00-20:00) in Vienna on the occasion of the international day for safe abortion marked a few days earlier. The book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date basis for better untangling the stakes around debates on abortion. The aim is to acquire a better overview of the actors supporting and opposing abortion and to identify similarities and differences between the countries whilst forging effective strategies for a feminist political agenda.


  • Petra Bayr, Austrian MP, member of the Council of Europe and President of European Parliamentary Forum (EPF)
  • Neil Datta, Executive Director at European Parliamentary Forum (EPF)
  • Berengère Marques Pereira, Professor of political and social science at the Université libre de Bruxelles and author of the book ‘Abortion in the EU: Actors, Issues and Discourse
  • Eva-Maria Holzleitner, Austrian MP & Chair of SPÖ Women
  • Laeticia Thissen, Senior Policy Analyst on Gender Equality, FEPS
Karl Renner Institut
Related publications

Abortion in the European Union

Actors, issues and discourse
Find all related publications

‘Abortion in the EU’ – Country fact sheets

Multispeed access to abortion across member states

Abortion in the European Union

Actors, issues and discourse

The European Care Strategy

A chance to ensure inclusive care for all?

Spotlight on the political groups as gender equality actors

Struggles over issues of gendered violence in the European Parliament
Find all related events

Enhancing sustainable long-term care

Care4Care Policy Series
25 - 26/08/2023
Korčula, Croatia (Hybrid)

Korčula School 2023

Transforming politics through a gender lens

Care as a driver of sustainable growth

Care4Care Policy Series
Find all related news

The Feminist Foreign Policy Progressive Voices Collective (FFPPC)

A collective to promote a feminist and progressive approach to foreign policy

A credible future beyond growth has to be feminist

This article was first published on EUobserver

Feminist Leadership for Women in CSOs

Survey for women in leadership

When will European women start earning the same as men?

Spoiler alert: that day hasn’t arrived yet
Find all related in the media
In the media

A credible future beyond growth has to be feminist

by euobserver 17/05/2023
Euobserver article about the #BeyondGrowth conference mentions FEPS 'Defining Care' Policy Brief

Pay transparency can help close the gender pay gap but at what cost?

by Euronews 31/08/2022

How many inequalities can the world fight at the same time?

by Social Europe 07/07/2022

Rebutting the assaults on gender equality

by Social Europe 08/03/2022