I remember when I was younger, I have never felt (or more so; wasn’t conscious of) how being a girl was affecting my life in any negative way.
Since then, my perception of the world has deeply changed, and now I understand why feminism, in fact, is one of the most crucial human right movements of the modern world. For this reason, I want to dedicate my next blogposts to this issue that keeps evolving and still proves to be one of the most important social movements of our times.
More than its intellectual and academic relevance, the need for feminism becomes apparent when you look at what is happening in the world. You don’t have to go far to see that women’s rights are still being violated. The most recent addition of these violations has to be Poland’s ban of almost all abortions.
The country already had one of the strictest abortion rules across all of the European Union.
Authorising this medical procedure only for three very specific cases: the case of rape or incest, the threat of the woman’s life or severe malformation of the foetus. After the new court ruling, this last exception is now also considered an illegal act, because it is considered a disrespect to the dignity of the unborn.
Photo by Luca Aliano
The ruling Law and Justice party claims that putting on hold a pregnancy of malformed foetus is a discrimination of the unborn. It is clear to me, however, that the real discrimination this new law creates is the one between women; a discrimination of class.
Polish women say it loud and clear,
it is well known that restrictions on abortions doesn’t stop abortions from happening, one can still travel outside of Poland to seek medical assistance in this regard. Who they worry about are the women who cannot afford this privilege. Instead of being a universal right, abortion now becomes a privilege, as women with the less income will not be able to have the choice. This is going to affect those who cannot afford to bring a child into this world for financial reasons, those that cannot sustain a healthy life for a baby, whether it be education, health care or food.
An important point that I want to make when talking about the Poland’s abortion discourse is that we need to be very cautious of what discussions and arguments we are engaging into. When you engage in a debate of conditional abortion, meaning discussing what situations make an abortion okay, in some ways you are participating in the discourse, opening the path for a country to continuously restrict reproductive rights.
Abortion has to be okay no matter what the circumstances are. It has to be clear that no one has the right to have influence in a woman’s life, nor the state, nor the church, nor anyone else, expect for the woman that has the baby in her belly. (Maybe the father, but that is another ethical question).
no one has the right to have influence in a woman’s life
The ruling party can claim that they want women to be empowered. But actions speak louder than words and ongoing restrictions on abortions certainly is not empowering women. It is, on the contrary, a culture of demeaning women, of denying them sovereignty over their bodies and not respecting their choices. A culture of men deciding what happens with a woman’s body.
Giving the choice of having an abortion, however, is allowing women to have sovereignty over their own body, it is believed that women know for themselves what is best for them. No woman will tell you that having an abortion is fun, but many will tell you that it was still the right decision.
Listen to women.
If you’re against abortions, don’t have one.
To the Polish women, I stand with you.
. . .
 Malformation of the foetus, fetal anomalies, 05.11.2020., available: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/fetus-malformation, accessed 05.11.2020.