A big twist on abortion – Europe is getting old, the new parliament has to weigh values ​​more than before | Foreign countries

A big twist on abortion – Europe is getting old

ZAGREB There is a weakening of women’s rights in the air in Europe.

This is what both a Croatian female activist and a professor of political philosophy say in an interview with in Croatia. Reactionary thinking is increasing.

The state on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, for example, follows the European political trend, where governments are becoming more conservative. In the last couple of weeks, nationalist right-wing populists have come to power in Holland as well as Croatia.

At the same time, the movement against women’s rights is increasing.

– Along with politics, it can also be seen at the level of laws. For example, Italy has just decided to ban abortion from the law. Women in Malta and Poland still can’t get an abortion, sociologist, film director and women’s activist Tea Vidović Dalipi enumerates.

However, in more western Europe, liberal-ruled France and Denmark, access to abortion has recently been encouraged.

Prime Minister of Croatia by Andrej Plenković three representatives of the ultra-conservative Kotimaa movement, which opposes abortion, were appointed to the government last week.

– And not just abortion. We also see an old and traditional trend in contraceptive counseling and sex education. Aspects related to a woman’s body have been threatened, says Vidović Dalipi.

The pressure to reduce sex education grows when the elderly part of people think that it “poisons” the minds of children and young people.

EU to support abortions

European women’s organizations founded the My voice, my choice network in the spring, which collects names for a citizens’ initiative. From Finland, the Naisasialiitto Unioni is participating.

The goal is that everyone living in the EU can get an abortion if they need it, even if the legislation of their own country does not allow it.

A special financial instrument would be established in the EU budget, to which member states could voluntarily join. The fund would pay for abortions that people have to seek in other countries.

So, for example, when a Pole or a Croat traveled to Germany or Slovenia, they would get a safe abortion there free of charge.

The citizens’ initiative needs one million signatures. Now they have accumulated almost 300,000.

The majority of doctors refuse

Health care personnel generally have the right to refuse to perform abortions for reasons of conscience. That is why the differences in obtaining an abortion are huge even within many countries.

For example, in Italy, a clear majority of doctors do not agree to participate in abortion, while in France, only about one in five women has to find another doctor.

In some areas of Croatia, 95 percent of doctors refuse to perform abortions. That’s why many end up in neighboring Slovenia.

– For the implementation of human and civil rights, the EU level is just fine. We can protect women’s rights and provide opportunities when they don’t exist in the home country, says Vidović Dalipi.

Croatia was a republic of Yugoslavia until 1991. Already in the 1970s, the right to abortion was written into the Yugoslav constitution, which is also in the law of independent Croatia. The section is simply not followed.

“Unpleasant atmosphere”

Emeritus Professor of Political Philosophy Žarko Puhovski according to Croatia is now living a waiting period.

Puhovski brings up, for example, the current atmosphere in the discussion about the country’s second place in the Eurovision Song Contest. The artist Baby Lasagna raised the same kind of ecstasy in Croatia as Käärijja in Finland.

Eurovision was finally won by a non-binary singer, a Swiss Nemo Mettler.

– A couple of days after the defeat, many right-wing politicians and priests said: “Thank God we didn’t win, otherwise we would have had to host such guys, i.e. the rainbow people, next year, and such is not suitable for Croatian soil”, Puhovski describes.

In addition to abortion, the Kotimaa movement, which has entered the government, opposes the rights of sexual and gender minorities. The party denies the war crimes committed by the Croats and wants to drive the Serbs out of the country. Also independent the media experiences position threatened.

Puhovski believes that the new government will bring an “unpleasant atmosphere” to the country.

– People are starting to wonder if I should do this or that in public or if I dare to say this anymore, says Puhovski.

Croatian nationalists have raised immigration as a problem only in the last decade, unlike like-minded people in other EU countries.

– It was not considered a problem as long as the Croatians themselves moved to Germany, Switzerland, France or Austria. It was only made a problem when others started moving to Croatia.

“The left is incapable”

Croatia has a patriarchal system. It means that men are in a dominant position. Leadership is inherited from father to son in the entire political field, including on the left, says Puhovski.

He finds three reasons for the return of old values ​​in Europe.

– First of all, whenever there is a deep crisis [esimerkiksi pandemia], it’s good for the right-wing movement. Second, whenever there is war [esimerkiksi Venäjän hyökkäys Ukrainaan], it’s good for the right-wing movement. And the third reason is the incompetent leftists.

According to Puhovski, the European left-wing parties were still able to offer people dreams and prospects for the future in the last millennium.

– Now they don’t know how to motivate anything that would make people act and believe in the new, says Puhovski.

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