Dutch abortion medics protest violence against clinics and women

Employees of abortion clinics in the Netherlands held a minute of silence on July 1 to raise awareness about violence against women seeking abortions and against the doctors and clinics conducting them.

‘This is a silent protest against those who are violent against women who want to undergo an abortion and their physicians,’ Thea Schipper, director of the Bea Huis en Bloemenkliniek which performs abortions, told the German Press Agency dpa on Tuesday.

The Dutch minute of silence is part of a series of protests being planned by other abortion clinics in France, Belgium, Spain, among others.

The staff of Belgian abortion clinics are due to dress in black, while French abortion clinics will hold a strike soon.

The international initiative was launched to protest the murder of US abortion physician George Tiller who was killed on May 31.

‘Violence and aggression against aid workers is an increasing problem,’ Schipper said.

‘In the Netherlands, we fortunately do not see the kind of violence like in the US against abortion clinics and physicians. However, general aggression against aid workers is a growing problem here too,’ she added.

Abortion clinics have existed in the Netherlands since 1971, but it was not until 1981 that it was legalized.

The number of abortions performed in the Netherlands each year remains relatively stable with 33,000 procedures, according to the 2007 Dutch health inspection year report.

Nearly 14 per cent of all abortions in this country are performed on foreign women who cannot undergo the procedure in their home countries.



%d bloggers like this: