Almost 200,000 people have called for the Council of Europe to denounce the practice of allowing babies to die after surviving an abortion.
The petition, which is supported by Roman Catholic groups and a human rights organisation, states that “all human beings born alive” have a right to live.
In an accompanying letter, General Director of human rights group the European Centre for Law and Justice, Patrick Grégor Puppinck called for an investigation into the issue.
Puppinck noted that precise figures are difficult to obtain but said: “It seems as though these children are frequently abandoned without care, put aside in an empty room or closet, where they struggle to breathe, sometimes injured by the abortion, before dying alone.”
He said when a premature baby is born “everything is put in place to save them”. However he stated that: “Every year, numerous babies survive an abortion. In these cases, they are left to die or even killed.”
Puppinck commented that not helping some babies “simply because they are unwanted” violates their dignity and human rights.
He said it also goes against the European Convention on Human Rights.
“A premature baby, even born during an attempted late term abortion, is a human being”, the human rights leader said.
The letter calls for an investigation and a report on the issue, and for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to reaffirm the right to life for all humans.
The Council of Europe, which is made up of 47 member states, has passed the petition on to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights for consideration.
The Office of International Catholic Child and the Federation of Catholic Family Associations are behind the petition, which has so far been signed by 187,728 people.