Lessons from the case in Spain

24/06/2016 Comments Off on Lessons from the case in Spain

Yesterday, I shared a feature article I wrote for the newsletter of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion on this blog. I think there are a lot of lessons to draw from this case, but for me, at this moment, the two I would emphasise are the crucial importance of solidarity on all our parts with those whose human rights have been violated, and the need to consider far more deeply how to expose, counter and defeat the anti-abortion misogyny promoted by the (religious) right in all our countries as a form of violence and the collusion or absence of the state in allowing it to happen, and in a different form of solidarity, work more closely together to do so.

Here is a response to the events in Spain from Lucie van Crombrugge, former director of an abortion clinic in Gent, Belgium:  

Dear Anne-Marie, Marge,

Thank you so much for sharing  with us, partners in crime with Dr Morin, the history of the ordeal he and his team went through since 2004. Partners in crime, according to me, because myself and other providers referred to the late abortion clinics in Barcelona our desperate patients, their last resort for solving their unbearable situation.

Like you, Anne-Marie, I referred tens of women and I escorted some of them [to Spain] in the period between 2000 and 2008. All situations were handled with respect and professional care. While the rest of the European world turned its back on these rejected women, I witnessed the essence of what it means to be Pro Choice. Abortion, as late as necessary.

The Barcelona court should judge me as guilty as Dr Morin. The woman with her partner , the girl with her mother or father, the individual with only me…. Morin and his team depended on me, on us, to evaluate in-depth the circumstances of their life and the fairness of their request. Little time was left, once you landed in El Prat and entered the reception desk of the clinic… According to the Spanish law until 2010  the patient was medically and psychological screened  and prepared for treatment.

And no, late abortions procedures  aren’t easy to go through, not for the intimae who have to witness the harsh hours until check out, not for the care takers expected to alleviate the pain and sorrow, not for those doctors, the ultimate professionals. And the patients? No comment necessary.

The clinics of Dr Morin and his team offered us a safe harbour and professional skills for our patients. And anyone who thinks they have the right to refuse even one woman an abortion can’t continue to claim they are really  pro-choice.

What should the rest of us do now? Take notice of it and go on with our lives? I don’t think so…. Is it too much to ask from the abortion providers in Europe to take a stand on the outcome of this trial?

I so much hope action will be taken. And for those who feel uncomfortable with late abortion, they should realize that the Pro Life movement who sends  two Barcelona doctors to jail will continue their war against us and lump us all together as the devils on earth.

Hasta el final! Lucie


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