The European Backlash: Conservative Movements, Abortion and LGBT Rights

Neil Datta in conversation with Vegard Furustøl Vibe

How to understand the recent phenomenon in Europe of push-back on social advances in sexual and reproductive rights?  Who are the actors, what motivates them and how do they work? Are there links between the debates on conscientious objection (reservasjonsrett) that we have seen in Norway in the past year and what we see elsewhere on the continent?

Neil Datta has been the Secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development ( since 2004. EPF is a network of over 30 groups of parliamentarians from across Europe who are committed to championing women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Neil founded the organisation with a select group of parliamentarians and with the support of IPPF in 2000, and has been responsible for its growth to its current membership of over 30  all-party parliamentary groups on population and development issues.

Neil has over fifteen years experience in the field of political involvement in population and development. Throughout this period he has conducted in-depth research on anti-choice activity in Europe. Before becoming EPF Secretary, Neil coordinated the Parliamentary Programme of the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network.

Vegard Furustøl Vibe is a PhD candidate at the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen, where he also received his master’s degree in 2011. His research interests include SRR-lawfare, the global development of LGBT-rights and LGBT-social movements. He is currently constructing a global database on sexual and reproductive rights court cases.

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