Living and loving without paternalism
Every September the so-called “March for Life” sets off from the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. The participants – Christian fundamentalists and leading figures within the AfD (Alternative for Germany) – demand a complete ban on abortion and the criminal punishment of women and medical practitioners who perform terminations. They aim to create an atmosphere in which abortion is considered to be immoral or even murder. Moreover, they reject every way of living which is not deemed compatible with traditional Christian norms. The current rise of the AfD as a political force and statements made by individual members of the AfD on pregnancy termination and sexual diversity highlight the serious threat posed by these self-proclaimed “protectors of life”.
The participants of the march represent a backward worldview in which abortion is portrayed as “pre-natal infanticide”. They use the term “Babycaust” to describe terminations of pregnancy, and, in doing so, relativise the National Socialist Holocaust. In reality, their concept of “pro-life” involves complete control over women and the reconstruction of “old order” with the “sacred family” at its heart. As such, they deny women and girls sexual autonomy.
However, the reality of life in Germany today is entirely different. We live in diverse, self-determined relationships, in patchwork families, as same-sex couples, as single parents, in temporary partnerships, in shared accommodation, with and without (own) children.
The opponents of the right to abortion organise militant actions such as “sidewalk-counselling” in front of medical centers, intimidating those who seek help there. They spread lies about the course of pregnancy and about biological facts. They vilify medical practitioners as “mass murderers”, slander professionals on websites and attempt to prevent the opening of such medical facilities, as was the case in Stuttgart. They put pressure on clinics, like in Nordrhein-Westfalen, where neither a medical examination nor a termination could be performed following a rape. They have mobilised against a progressive sex education in schools in Baden Württemberg. Furthermore, they instrumentalise the topic of disability by portraying termination a means of selection.
It is clearly time to confront these reactionary forces prevent their growing political and social influence from taking hold.
We invite you to join us for a range of actions on September 17, 2016 in Berlin at Brandenburg Gate.
- a gender- and culturally-sensitive sex education for all
- comprehensive information on and free access to contraception
- free distribution of the morning-after pill
- unlimited access to legal abortion and the removal of § 218 from the criminal code
- full legal recognition of all forms of relationships
- social and economic support from the state and the necessary infrastructure for those who choose to have a child
Sexual Self-Determination is a Human Right. We call on the Federal Government and political parties to ensure that everyone can determine their own family planning and sexual lives without discrimination, and that they will be supported in the protection of these rights, regardless of their background, sexual and gender orientation, socio-economic circumstances and health situation.