Welcome back to the sixties

4 Feb

I got a suprising phone call from a friend from Egypt yesterday. ‘Kirsten, what’s going on in Europe? You guys always have such a big mouth about women’s rights in our country, but now those same rights are being challenged in your part of the world!’
He had a point. While this weekend Paris and Lyon saw tens of thousands protesting the ‘attack on the family’ by the French government (easing abortion legislation and legalising gay marriage), in Madrid and elswhere in Europe people took to the streets to protest against the Spanish minister of justice’s plans to restrict women’s right to abortion.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the sixties. Under influence of the catholic church, who have their fingers in the Spanish political paella, traditional values are being reinstated. With the female body as battleground.
But not only in Spain the clock is being turned back. In (also extremely catholic) Lithuania, parliament voted in favor of a law that would limit access to abortion , while in Ireland even a pregnancy resulting from rape cannot be aborted. In Poland, abortion in illegal. In Malta, you can end up with an 18 month jail sentence. Vatican City: douze points.
In the mean time: silence from Brussels. Because well, abortion legislation is a national affair right? Of course Europe is the first to complain when human rights are being violated in the rest of the world. Gay discrimination in Sotchi? Bad Putin. Girl marriages in Yemen? Bad Muslims.
But a hard fought basic human right such as abortion in our own European constitution? Well no.
What was it that Jesus said? Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

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