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(en) France: OCL/OLS Statement - "Abortion, contraception... the struggle goes on!" (fr)

From Offensive Libertaire & Sociale - Paris <ols.paris@no-log.org>
Date Sat, 15 Jan 2005 17:10:46 +0100 (CET)

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In our so-called "sexually free" society, people everywhere talk about
sexuality (hetero and patriarchal), but contraception and abortion still remain
taboo in schools, families, the media, the public like... Who knows that after
having been a "crime against state security" (in 1942), abortion - authorized
thirty years ago, was not legalized until 2001?
An abyss between the law and the reality
Who knows the revolting conditions in which a lot of abortions are still
carried out in France? Who knows that the average delay of three weeks to get
an appointment in an abortion clinic forces women to go abroad while they are
still within the legal limit? What of the doctors who still try to make women
who decide to have an abortion feel guilty? What about the operations which are
in some cases still carried out without anaesthetic? Ot that too few women have
access to information in order to choose the medical and surgical techniques of
their abortion?

In 2001 the limit was increased to twelve weeks after conception (in the
Netherlands there is no mention of time limit, the only limit being the
viability of the foetus), but some hospitals continue to refuse abortion after
ten weeks, forcing the women concerned to make journeys of hundreds of
kilometres to some other clinic in France, or even abroad. The omnipotence of
the medical profession is inadmissible. Doctors must not be allowed to domineer
our lives no more than religious leaders.

The reactionary State

Whether it is the Garraud Amendment that aimed to make "involuntary
interruption of a pregnancy" an offense, or the attempt to give legal status to
the embryo at the European Court of Human Rights, or "SOS tout-petits"
harassing "Planning familial", the attacks against the right to abortion are
numerous. But what can be said about a health minister who, in 2004, wrote a
preface to a book which criticized the medical interruption of pregnancies and
glorifying the maternal instinct?

Or the fact that the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has just eliminated
the question of women from its list of priorities? The reality is that the
State has a habit of putting the brakes on the demands of the feminist
movements. Every social and political advance has always been the result of
long struggle. We had to fight for three years after the 4th July 2001 law was
passed in order to obtain the decrees which put it into effect (and only in
part). In spite of this, the absence of real means has actually produced a
reduction in our rights. In fact, as abortions are not "profitable" enough
economically speaking, the private clinics that are guaranteed almost 50% of
abortions in certain regions have stopped carrying them out altogether.

As for access to contraception, it is still insufficient. While contraception
may be accepted socially, it is still not on an individual level: 50% of girls
starting their sexual lives do not use any form of contraception. And many
adult women are ignorant of their bodies, of the range of contraceptives (it
doesn't always have to be the pill...), of what they can do after non-protected
sexual relations, and so on. If the right to an abortion and to contraception
is constantly ridiculed, it is always in the name of a patriarchal moral order
that seeks to dispossess women of their bodies, to impose motherhood on them as
a duty and to convince them that abortion is "traumatic".

No! We women, do not have abortions because we are in a situation of
"psycho-social distress". No! Abortion is neither "the gravest" of acts nor a
"last resort". It is neither a part of pleasure nor a triviality, but it is
especially not a tragedy: it is the expression of our freedom to choose, of our
refusal to be enslaved to the fate of sacrosanct motherhood.

Laws are never enough to change society - it is only by mobilizing ourselves
that we will get what we want.

We demand:
* Total exemption from the costs of abortion and contraception
* Equal access to abortion for all, including minors and "illegal"
* An increase in time limits
* Public information campaigns on the various methods of contraception
(female and male) and abortion
* Real sex education in schools and elsewhere
* An increase in the number of voluntary abortion clinics
* More support for places such as Family Planning centres and
gynecological advice clinics.

An end to patriarchy, so that women's bodies can belong to them!

Organisation communiste libertaire - Paris (OCL)
c/o Egregore, B.P. 1213 - 51058 Reims Cedex

Offensive libertaire et sociale - Paris (OLS)
21 ter, rue Voltaire - 75011 Paris

Translation by FdCA-International Relations

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