Ukraine has unique way of fighting abortion ban

Ukraine has unique way of fighting abortion ban

A topless protest


A very controversial bill is being addressed in the Ukraine as of late, one that would ban outright nearly all forms of abortion within the entire country.  In protest, the Ukrainian branch of the feminist group Femen has decided to take their shirts off to let the world know how they feel. 

Currently, abortion is legal to the 12th week.  This bill would ban it completely except for special cases.  Medical emergencies are one of these special cases, as are incidents where the family has a history of genetic diseases.  Another case, and one that seems quite odd to me personally, is when the father of the unborn child is dead.  Apparently, in the Ukraine a single mother is not looked upon very highly.

The bill was introduced by the government as a measure to combat the falling population.  This country has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world.  The population in the Ukraine over the last 12 years has dropped by nearly 8 million, though many of these were people that immigrated to other areas. 

To make matters even more draconian, in addition to banning abortions, the bill has contains a provision that would fine couples who did not produce children.  Not only would people be forced to keep babies they could not afford or did not want, they would also be required to breed at the orders of the government.  After a while, the whole thing begins to sound a bit like some sort of futuristic dystopian novel.

The bill is supported by the Uniate Church and the Roman Catholic Church, both of which are attempting to influence the Ukrainian parliament to see things their way.  Femen claims that the church is illegally pressuring the government to pass the bill and calls it a “criminal plot between the church and the state.”

To demonstrate their anger, members of the group went to St. Sophia Cathedral in the center of Kiev, climbed the bell tower there, removed their tops and proceeded to ring the church bells.  Eventually, the police arrived to remove them and disperse the protestors.

Apparently, Femen is well-known for their topless protests, a fact that I was unaware of.  They are active in fighting against prostitution, human trafficking and many other issues in addition to their work against abortion.  Most recently, chapters of the group protested against domestic violence in Turkey as well as vote-rigging in the Russian presidential elections.

I say, bring this to America.  You would certainly see a lot more coverage of pro-choice protests on the news if those involved in them were bare from the waist up.  People and the media love their nakedness and a topless protest would be an effective way to bring attention to the situation and generate a huge amount of media attention.  Maybe things would get done quicker if bare breasts were involved?