Wooden spoons return to the streets to oppose stricter abortions

Protests are being organised against planned changes to abortion law.

July 2020 protest against changes to abortions.July 2020 protest against changes to abortions. (Source: SITA)

Prior to the launch of a discussion about changes to the abortion law, the representatives of several non-governmental organisations plan to point to the threats the proposed amendment brings.

The protest events are scheduled for September 14-16, when the debate in the parliament starts.

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“No amending proposals will change the fact that the amendment aims to restrict our reproduction rights and build nonsensical administrative barriers in a space for safe, decent and responsible decisions,” the organisers wrote on Facebook.

Related article People took wooden spoons to the streets and protested against stricter abortion laws Read more 

It is already clear that the proposals will impact mostly women living in social and material insecurity, and in regions with weak infrastructure, they continued.

“The one-off contributions can’t replace the systemic improvement of living conditions and the social situation of families can’t be solved by changes to the abortion law,” they warned. “If this happens, it does not help; it's only power and control over women’s lives by the state.”

No mass gathering

The organisers are not planning any mass event due to the coronavirus pandemic, offering a different tactic instead.

They are asking people to take out their wooden spoons or create some from various materials, and write messages on them, expressing their feelings about the proposed changes.

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Related article Commissioner for Human Rights concerned about planned changes to abortions Read more 

Until September 16, participants should carry the wooden spoons to various sites, either to the parliament, the local authorities, parks, the headquarters of political parties, as well as parking lots or other public spaces.

“Our message will be spread in the public space,” the organisers wrote.

The participants are then asked to take a picture of the wooden spoon and publish it on social networks, using #NebudemeTicho and #BuducnostJeVarecha hashtags, and also send the picture to the parliament, asking MPs not to support the restriction of reproductive rights or any law limiting access to a safe and legal abortion.

A letter and email to parliament can also be downloaded on the Aspekt.sk website.

The organisers are preparing something for the September 16 event as well, hinting that “it will be loud”.

Related article Concerns about reproductive rights go international as MPs prepare to vote on abortion laws Read more 

Support from abroad

The amendment to the abortion law has already been criticised by more than 100 international human rights organisations, who have called on Slovak MPs to not limit reproductive rights in Slovakia as the parliament prepares to vote on abortion-related legislation that may be passed after repeated unsuccessful attempts in the past.

Also, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović has sent a letter to Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár and three other chairs of the parliamentary committees, warning against the amendment.

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