Monday, January 10, 2011

Choose life - New Anti-Abortion Campaign by Government of Macedonia

This post is also available in Macedonian
* македонски: Избери живот - нова анти-абортус кампања на Владата

I just saw the latest campaign by the Government, using the slogan "Choose life." The commercials (I saw two) are directed against abortion.

The text at the end of the commercial claims that the campaign is about explaining the consequences of abortion. Horror! The first advertisement explains that abortions bring many consequences, including inflammations, infections, sepsis, consequences of anesthesia (sic), psychological consequences and so on.

During 2010 a number of women died at childbirth (in medical institutions) in Macedonia from--imagine!--the above reasons. Except the last one, of course. When you die, the psychological consequences cannot harm you.

I wonder since when it is the obligation of the Government to warn us about consequences of choosing abortion via public campaigns? As far as I know, physicians have the duty to disclose all aspects (positive and negative) to women who require abortion, and this is common practice. Or the administration does not believe the medical doctors, and decided to their job too?

The second advertisement is even more stupid because it enhances the patriachal stereotype.

The boyfriend is interested only in football (soccer). The girlfriend tells him that they are going to have a baby, and he responds that they have no [material] conditions to raise it. But look, she manages to persuade him by reminding him that they went out the previous night and spent a thousand Denars (around EUR 16 or USD 20). She then comes out with the key "argument" - that the child will most probably be male and look like him, after which he "lays down his arms." I am still puzzled as to how exactly this advertisement explains the consequences of abortion? Possibly there will be a sequel with the husband and wife arguing in front of the child about having no money, with him accusing her of blackmailing him to marry her "shotgun wedding"-style. Chances are that such lack of abortion can produce psychological consequences.

In conclusion, it seems the current Macedonian Government challenges the right which Macedonian women (like all women from the other former Yugoslav republics) acquired during socialism, a right denied to millions of other women world over?

Government's population policy boils down to having or not having a child. All other elements are inconsequential. The conditions in which these children are born are irrelevant, the quality of their schools and kindergartens is not important, nor whether the parents are emotionally and psychologically ready to raise children. It is only important to give birth to the kids, no matter what they turn into. They'll be ours anyway.

An example of recently renovated toilets in one of the most prestigious primary schools in Skopje. Isn't it nice? (Source: magazine "Metropola" from December 2010, published by Centar Municipality)

Americans say "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". Something is obviously broken in Macedonia, but that cannot be fixed by this campaign.

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