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France: black ribbon on 8M

An evangelical feminist in Spain looks with sadness at the constitutionalisation of abortion in the neighbouring country.

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES AUTOR 301/Asun_Quintana 08 DE MARZO DE 2024 11:00 h
Image: Pixabay, CC0.

The news that France has enshrined access to abortion in the Constitution has been followed closely by the world’s media.

It has been received as an exemplary “historic” step and an “inspiration” for other countries in Europe and the world. And it has been welcomed as a great victory, when precisely what it marks is a milestone in human evil, in ideological imposition and in the curtailment of women’s freedoms... Despite being sold to us as the acquisition of the ultimate freedom: “do with your body what you want”.

From my genuinely feminist heart in the will of God and His Word, defender of the equality and dignity of women, of the development of their capacities and gifts, and putting my focus on the Bible from beginning to end, I say that this is one of the Women’s Days that culminates and marks a great step backwards.


A ripple effect in other countries

The day after the news in France, political groups like leftists Sumar in Spain (a coalition partner in the Spanish government) organised a media conference to ask for the same step to be taken here, to introduce abortion as a constitutional right.

But my indignation and at the same time my deep sadness was when the spokesperson reading the communiqué burst into tears, empathising with the women “who have bled to death, having abortions in their homes in secret...”, she said. Of course this image hurts my soul, and the lack of help for these women who in many cases have found themselves alone and abandoned. But we must also weep with emotion for the courage of many women who have carried their pregnancies through, fighting against all odds and ‘bleeding to death’ to bring their children to term. This should also be celebrated, and they should be made unsung heroines for it.


Who cries for the unborn babies?

But also another deep cry came to my heart. Who cries for those babies who have not been allowed to live? Who empathises with those little ones who have been killed in their mothers’ wombs? Or those who are thrown into rubbish bins?

Surely it is not possible to criminalise or place the blame exclusively on women across the board. Behind the tragedy, hidden, is a whole society, with its politicians, governments; the boyfriends, husbands, men who abandon women and do not support them in their motherhood (or worse, push them to abortion).

This global and intolerant pro-abortion movement clearly announces, as in the transgender laws, bad times for the freedoms of those who do not bow to the ‘official doctrine’. What they want is to exclude abortion as a matter of debate. They want to make it impossible to disagree.

They still have one more step to go: to abolish the conscientious objection of doctors. In France, there is already talk of closing down anti-abortion associations and websites that offer help to pregnant women.


Abortion and feminism

Abortion is nowadays sadly an intrinsic part of secular feminism. It is unthinkable that a woman today does not support abortion, as part of freedom and women’s rights. They take it for granted. And it is precisely this, together with the trans law and the abolition of prostitution, that makes us, evangelical Christians and feminists, diametrically separate ourselves from this other kind of feminism.

Today, more than ever, we reaffirm our own proposal of feminism according to biblical principles: the equality of women and men as a divine design, and the equality in our mission, put into practice by the greatest man in history: Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. A feminism that seeks equality, that denounces all kinds of machismo, and that defends life from conception to death.


What is a “right”?

From the Seneca Falls Platform, we contemplate and denounce the wage gap, inequality in job opportunities, the overload of work in the home, violence against women in all its forms, the hyper-sexualisation of women, sexual exploitation, and surrogacy. But we can never assume abortion as a feminist principle and a fundamental right of women.

To speak of a right to abortion is an abuse of language and a manipulation of the concept of “right”. When a mother decides to have an abortion, she is not exercising any right over her body, as if she were cutting her nails, cutting her hair or having cosmetic surgery.

The fact that the foetus is still very small cannot give its mother the right to end its life unless this would be recognised throughout all of her pregnancy, because the legal nature of the foetus as a subject of law does not change with the passage of time. Abortion is not a right. It is still an abrogation of the right to life of the unborn - from its beginning.


Confusion, hypocrisy, and the Creator's law

They want to confuse us. It is not acceptable to consider that the dignity of women and the free development of their personality include the right to end the life of the embryo. Nor is the assertion that the denial of the right to have an abortion constitutes an attack on the physical and psychological integrity of the woman.

On the contrary, this ease of abortion is hiding the lack of support and help for pregnant women. No concern for women and their circumstances. Most women who have abortions are not free. They are often forced to do so for lack of help.

The immigrant woman, unemployed, without papers or with precarious work. The young student. Any woman in difficult conditions who is abandoned by the baby’s father (because the possibility of abortion, on the rebound, makes it easier for the man to wash his hands)... All these women exercise their freedom to the extent of the options they have. If abortion is made easier for her, but she is not given help to give birth and raise her child, the emphatic discourse that claims to defend her freedom is hypocritical.

Even if abortion were to be included in the Constitution, even if the courts were to uphold it, this would not change the nature of the act and its consequences.

The Constitution, like the law, are human norms. But “thou shalt not kill” is a divine law imprinted by our Creator in the heart of every human being.


Asun Quintana, philologist, evangelical pastor in Madrid, and president of Plataforma Seneca Falls.


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