The right to abortion has been and is being weakened also in European countries through the interplay of right-wing governments and religious groups. Communist Youth of Finland gives its support to people fighting for free abortion in Poland and around the world.
Restricting the right to abortion, or even a total ban, is the goal of right-wing conservatives around the world. It is known from many experiences that lobbying and support for politicians by religious groups, such as the Catholic church, is a significant factor in restricting the right to abortion.
Despite opposition from the Catholic church and pressure from conservatives, positive development has been seen. In Argentina, abortion was legalized late last year after an initiative by the country’s leftist president, Alberto Fernández, passed a Senate vote. In Ireland, the abortion ban was lifted after a referendum in 2018.
However, no progress or right is automation. Restrictions on the right to abortion have also recently been taken in Europe. In Hungary, hospitals now have the right to refuse abortions and the government runs large-scale anti-abortion campaigns. The law that came into force in Poland this year significantly restricted the right to abortion. Unprecedented protests arose against the law, bringing together the people in a very broad and diverse way.
“Above all, free abortion is about sovereignty and humanity. Everyone has the right to their own body and to the integrity of the person, and its implementation must be ensured. Free abortion means respecting this right and the possibility of a safe abortion without fear of any legal consequences,” says Anni Kivistö, Vice Chairperson of the Communist Youth of Finland.
Communist Youth of Finland supports the protests by mass movements and activists for free abortion in Poland and around the world.
Finnish abortion law to be reformed
Liisa Taskinen, Vice Chairperson of Communist Party of Finland, says in the article in Tiedonantaja that the Finnish abortion law, has become obsolete both in terms of its attitudes and in terms of medical development. The decision to terminate a pregnancy must be left to the woman alone, without any stated reasons. They do not belong to the authorities. The Communist Youth of Finland fully agrees with this.
The abortion law must be reformed so that stating the cause is no longer a condition for abortion. In addition, other local health care services need to be developed.
Under current law, a woman can obtain an abortion at her own request without a medical reason, i.e. the so-called for social reasons, by a decision of two doctors - the prescribing and the prescribing doctor - before the end of the 12th week of pregnancy. During 12-20 weeks of pregnancy, pregnancy may be terminated for social reasons only with Valvira's permission. Due to a serious illness or injury to the fetus, the pregnancy may be terminated for up to 24 weeks, also with Valvira's permission.
The abortion law must be reformed so that stating the cause is no longer a condition for abortion. In addition, other local health care services need to be developed. Public gynecologist services need to be set up so that gynecological visits and consultations can be provided at a low threshold. Free contraception must be provided to everyone who needs it, regardless of age. STDs must be accessible without an appointment and rapid tests must also be possible anonymously.
Restricting the right to abortion is often justified by respect for life and, at the same time, falsely implying that abortion would mean killing a child. However, it is not anyone's benefit to infringe on a person's right to self-determination, to outsource decisions from another person's body to the authorities and at the same time endanger the health of a pregnant person, for example when the fetus is injured or a pregnant person may attempt an abortion in an unsafe manner. The right to free abortion protects the health and justice of everyone.
European Left Youth Network organized a webinar on reproductive rights on 4th July. The webinar covered, among other things, the situation in Poland and the experiences of the Irish campaign.