raising voices to defend abortion rights!
From the Ohio Statehouse to the organized and mobilized anti-Choice movements in Poland; we are witnessing increased attacks on fundamental freedoms, where our sexual and reproductive health and rights are under threat. Women and girls are the prime target of this regressive socio-political movement.
We should all be concerned by these developments which impose regulations over women’s bodies. They are increasing the environment of stigma and shame, forcing women into unwanted pregnancies who would rather exercise their inalienable right to abortion services. With the current political systems failing to protect women’s rights, it is now more important than ever that grassroots organizations and individuals are spearheading efforts to defend and advocate for women’s freedoms and positive legislation.
Human rights day, the 10th of December, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality organized a manifestation in the Hague to celebrate sexual rights, standing in solidarity with women and girls around the world who will bear the brunt of these new restrictions. At the same time 7.000 people took part in a silent march organized by the conservative SGP party, calling for an end to the right to abortion in the Netherlands. Their march was particularly shocking as Human Rights day is a moment to call for progress on human rights, particularly in advancing women’s control over their sexual rights.
My Body, My Choice
Whilst CHOICE disagrees with the position of the anti-choice movement concerning sexual health rights, such as abortion – we will respect their choice to hold that position. As such we therefore demand the same respect when it comes to our position on sexual health issues. Where they have the choice not to seek access to abortion services based on their views, they should not have the right to limit the choice of others to exercise their right to essential sexual health services. It is fine for a person to have conservative beliefs, but it is not okay to expect everyone else to follow the same values.
Laws against abortion do not stop abortion; they simply make it less safe.
Globally, deaths from unsafe abortion were estimated at 47.000, accounting for 14,9% of all maternal deaths. These deaths were unnecessary and avoidable. The nature of the pro-life argument is therefore contradictory; the pro-life position will increase these health dangers for women by forcing abortion services underground where they are unregulated and increasingly unsafe.
If people want to stop abortion, they should turn to methods that do work. These include comprehensive sex education and safe, affordable contraceptives. Unfortunately, as illogical as it sounds, the people who are most against abortion are also often most against these preventative measures. If they truly want to reduce the number of abortions that occur, they should encourage access to health services, contraceptives and sexual health education.
Join the movement
Do you believe that men and women have the right to control their own bodies? Add your voice to our movement by;
- Reading more about this topic at womenonwaves.org www.guttmacher.org/international/abortion or worldabortionlaws.com
- Sharing your knowledge and opinion with others on social media
- Supporting the international campaign on safe abortion via safeabortionwomensright.org/taking-action/
- Writing to Members of Parliament to convince the Government to take on recommendations for progressive legislation on sexual rights
- Becoming a CHOICE supporter, partner or volunteer!