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8th of March: We demand full access to sexual and reproductive health and rights!

In Europe on 2019, women* and genderqueer people still do not have the right to decide autonomously over their bodies and lives, including its most intimate aspects such as reproduction. Even worse, what we can lately observe is a serious backlash against victories which were hard won by previous generations. We believe that new way of thinking about sexuality and reproduction is long overdue in Europe. On this International Women’s Rights Day, let’s move towards recognizing abortion as a human right!

In Europe today, those in need of abortion struggle to access this essential health service due to various restrictions. Until recently, abortion was illegal in Ireland. In Germany, due to restrictions on abortion related advertising, those in need of abortion struggle to access relevant information on time. In Malta, people are forced to travel abroad to access the this service. In Poland, abortion can only be performed only  in cases of rape, when the woman's life or health is at risk, or in case of fatal foetal impairments. In other places, informal practices prevail, with people in need of abortion placed on long waiting lists or directly refused in certain hospitals, forcing them to travel long distances. All these make abortions particularly inaccessible to people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

A new way of thinking about sexuality and reproduction is long overdue in Europe. On this International Women’s Rights Day, we are calling for abortion to be recognized as a human right and included in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. We call for abortion to be recognized as a necessary health service, putting the agency and needs of those in need of abortion first. We want that those who wish or who for any reason need to access abortion can do so free of charge, safely, in a non-judgemental environment, and without further unjustified regulations and restrictions. We call for a full, unrestricted and free of charge access to safe abortions, including abortion-related services such as advertising, to be guaranteed to everyone everywhere in Europe.

„The fight for women's rights is at the core of our struggle for a better Europe. The issue of legal abortions is nothing less than a human rights issue. In Germany not only are abortions illegal, doctors are not even allowed to medically inform about abortions. But there is hope: the protests against this ruling have sparked a new feminist movement that is now putting forward the bigger question of body autonomy. We are standing at a crossroad: do we keep treating women like children, not able to make their own choices, and second-class-citizens, that are prevented from getting the health care they deserve? Or do we finally give them the right and the opportunity to decide over their own bodies? As Young Greens we have a clear answer to that question. We want every woman out there to know: Your body belongs to one person and one person only – and that is yourself.“ Ricarda Lang, Young Green Candidate for the EP, Grüne Jugend, Germany.

"While Ireland has made great strides in repealing the 8th it is clearer than ever that we cannot relax. We now have legal access to abortion but there is so much more to do. Migrant women in Ireland still account for a disproportionate number of maternity deaths and it is vital that we don't all sit back and become complacent. We can use that wave of solidarity that repealed the 8th to continue to push for true reproductive justice for all. We are winning but we haven't won yet" says Saoirse McHugh, Young Green candidate for Midlands North-West, Óige Ghlas, Ireland. 

“Poland still has one of the most restrictive abortion rights in Europe. Access to legal abortion, as well as the majority of reproductive health services, is a fiction. The draft law liberalizing the right to abortion has been neglected by parliament. However, recent research shows that more than half of Poles are in favor of an abortion on demand and the Black Protest was the largest social mobilization in recent years. Resisting women*'s enemies, we increase social awareness of reproductive rights and we will continue to do so!" says Asia Górska, Ostra zielen, Poland.

In its political context, the backlash against women*’s autonomy and agency on reproduction 

is part of a wider strategy of the far right and ultra conservative right in their attempt at bringing back to life a dream of ethnically pure national states. To achieve this vision, women* are expected to be reduced to tools of reproduction, in their biological and their social role. That is why nationalism goes always hand in hand with patriarchy. That is why fighting nationalism always requires fighting patriarchy. 

On this Women*’s Rights Day, we stand in solidarity with our sisters across Europe and the whole world. Our bodies, our freedoms, our choices!