Europe’s patchwork of abortion laws is absurd. Rights must be made universal
By Brinkwire on July 24, 2019
When I was 30, in 2011, I had an abortion. I was living in Berlin, a city known, since the fall of the Wall, for championing freedom. Or at least it was until attention turned to my womb. Born in France in the 1980s, and brought up on the internet, the Erasmus European studies programme and love without borders, I was under the happy illusion that everything relating to women’s bodies – from abortion to assisted reproduction – was covered by rights secured after long, hard struggles.
I blithely assumed that the milestones on the road to liberating French women – the May 1968 uprising, the 1971 “Manifesto of the 343” signed by women admitting to having had an abortion, Simone Veil, the health minister who legalised abortion, and the first test-tube babies – were all sufficiently European to be taken for granted, whatever the language.