Hundreds protest in Dam Square against possible abolition of US abortion law
Hundreds of people demonstrated in Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon against the possible abolition of federal abortion law in the United States. The demonstrators are advocating on Dam Square for women to be "bosses of their own belly" with the slogan "My body, my choice, my voice."
The action is supported by Amnesty International, knowledge center Rutgers, Women Inc. and the organization behind the Woman's March. Several people spoke during the demonstration. In addition to the outspoken solidarity for women in the U.S. who want to terminate their pregnancy, protesters aimed to guard against the right to abortion in the Netherlands.
Hilda Passchier, like Dolle Mina, demonstrated 50 years ago that abortion should be removed from the penal code –– "that is still not regulated" –– abortion in the health insurance package and decision-making rights for the woman. "Because a woman doesn't just do something like that," she said.
Passchier finds it "actually very strange" that she now has to make her voice heard again. "I thought: we've already had this, haven't we?"
In addition to the fact that there is still room for improvement in the Netherlands with regard to, for example, the abortion pill, Passchier wanted to express her solidarity with women in America. "They have to travel for an abortion, or secretly take a pill by ordering via the internet."
She is happy with the solidarity on Dam Square but warns that people should be alert to developments in the Netherlands. "There are always idiots who also take that up here and want to reverse the abortion law with money and lobbying."
Eva de Goeij, who had an unwanted pregnancy three years ago, spoke to those present about the condemnation she felt when she wanted to end her pregnancy. De Goeij, chair of the Ava foundation that supports people who might have an abortion, warns against the "strong anti-abortion lobby" that is being conducted in the Netherlands.
Like speaker Corinne Ellemeet, a GroenLinks MP, she advocated for the removal of abortion from the Dutch criminal code, among other things. According to Ellemeet, there is a guiding advice from politicians about abortion and "that can't be," she said. In order to prevent abortion law from being endangered in the Netherlands, "we must make ourselves heard."
Duizenden op de #Dam in Amsterdam als solidariteit met de Amerikaanse vrouwen vanwege de voorgenomen plannen van het Hogergerechthof van de US om het recht van #abortus weer terug te draaien. #RoeVsWade pic.twitter.com/kr3uYyXoOF— Robby Hiel (@PersburoUNN) May 7, 2022
The solidarity action is in response to the draft decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that came out this week. If that decision becomes final, each state would be allowed to legislate separately on abortion.
It is expected that the right to an abortion after six weeks will be banned in conservative states in particular. At six weeks, women often do not yet know that they are pregnant. In some cases, people wanting an abortion have to drive more than a thousand miles to a clinic outside their state, which is often not possible, especially for people from low-income backgrounds.
Reporting by ANP.