This week abortion has been a news item on at least three separate occasions.
With regards to the proposed ban on abortion in Spain, the main focus of our campaign at the moment, it came as no surprise that a challenge to the bill proposed by the Spanish socialists was narrowly defeated. That this was reported in three mainstream news outlets shows that the protests going on around the world are having an impact.
In the UK, a report, Crisis Pregnancy Centres, carried out by Education for Choice revealed that pregnancy counselling clinics were misinforming women about the consequences of having an abortion. There is an excellent report of this in The F Word. As for The Telegraph, it sent undercover reporters to Pregnancy Counselling Services and published a pro-choice article. There was also an article by Kate Smurthwaite in the Guardian.
Lastly, Ted Talks were criticised for allegedly not wanting to have talks on abortion as part of their Ted Woman talks. After much criticism from the increasingly powerful pro-choice movement they issued a statement saying that they had been mistaken and that they would welcome talks on abortion. This has also led to many pro choice articles, particularly in the US.
My Belly is Mine and the 15M Spanish Women’s Assembly organised a second demonstration in front of the Spanish Embassy.
Abortion rights remain such a pressing issue in so many countries, including of course Ireland. It is important that men and women continue to show their support for Spanish women who face losing the rights they fought so hard for. This would be a dangerous precedent and should be resisted.
We will do all that we can to keep the pressure on the Spanish government.
British pro-choice activists join international campaign against proposed Spanish anti-abortion law
Cristina addresses the crowd at the My Belly is Mine protest by Hungerford Bridge, Southbank on February 1st, 2014.
The 1st of February, trains departed from all over Spain carrying prochoice campaigners to Madrid. In London on the same day, the British prochoice activist group My Belly is Mine and its supporters travelled to Madrid ‘in spirit’ via a symbolic journey from Charing Cross Station to Waterloo East, and then met at 1pm on Hungerford Bridge. Supporters were encouraged to decorate coathangers, transforming them into symbols of protest which were then hung from Hungerford Bridge with a symbolic view over Houses of Parliament.
Over 250 people turned up, which is fantastic considering the My Belly is Mine campaign was founded less than a month ago. Speeches were made by Cristina Ríos founder of My Belly is Mine, Ann Rossiter from direct action feminist collective Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. and Lisa Hallgarten of Reproductive Health Matters.
On Saturday 8th February, ‘bellyhangers’ (as these decorated hangers are known) will be taken to the Spanish Embassy and presented as a gift to his Excellency. More action is planned in the months to come in conjunction with protests in Spain.