On 27 March 2020, the CEC will hold a public hearing on the basis of the "six-day thinking period" proposed by Mr. Pang Jiazhi, Chairman of the Coalition for One Action. "Increasing the six-day thinking period before abortion is about protecting women's rights and interests", Mr Pang said, adding that "the thinking period is the key to reducing the abortion rate" and the "worrying decline in fertility in Taiwan" after the implementation of the eugenics health care law. Are women's rights really protected behind this? What human rights flaws do such a proposal have?
On March 27, 2020, the CEC will hold another hearing on the amendment of the abortion law, following the "eight-week heartbeat act" in October 2019. The theme was based on the "six-day thinking period" proposed by Mr. Peng Jiazhi, Chairman of the Alliance for One Action
"Do you agree that article 7 should be added to article 7 of Chapter III, paragraph 1, of the Eugenichealth Care Act: "In addition to those who are in danger of endangering their lives or endangering their health, there shall be a six-day period of reflection prior to the abortion, and the Government has entrusted the social welfare units and the medical profession to arrange consultation and other assessments, and the right to privacy of the parties concerned should be fully respected." 』」
Mr Pang began his discussion by emphasizing that "increasing the six-day thinking period before abortion is for women's rights" and publishing his ideas for the proposal. So today, through the different positions of this hearing, we are thinking about the rights and interests of women on top of the six-day period of reflection. The record is represented by Peng Jiazhi, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Respect for Life, Chen Qinglong, and the counter-representative is Li Wei and his lawyer and Professor Qing Dalin.
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Peng Jiazhi: There is a six-day thinking period, is to protect the autonomy of life and women's rights
"When a woman finds herself pregnant, after a six-day period of reflection, and then decide whether to have an abortion, that's protecting the autonomy of life, and at the same time protecting the rights and interests of the fetus." 」
In this proposal, Peng Jiazhi has repeatedly pointed out that the six-day thinking period is intended to protect the autonomy of fetal life and the real rights of women. He noted that domestic women's groups often cite the UNITED Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, CEDAW, against the six-day thinking period, but this is an objection that does not take into account Taiwan's social situation and needs, "this is an infringement on women's rights and interests":
"There are quite a few women in Taiwan who have abortions under the force of their mother-in-law, husband or boyfriend. In this social situation, talking about women's autonomy only harms the rights and interests of vulnerable women and abuses the law. Many women are helpless when they experience this situation. 」
Extending in this context, he believed that women were currently relatively inadequately provided with insufficient information before abortion, which was a disregard for women's rights. At the same time, however, he has repeatedly stressed the arguments that "the period of reflection is the key to reducing abortion rates" and that "the decline in fertility in Taiwan is worrying" after the implementation of the Eugenichealth Act:
"In the 35 years since the implementation of the 74-year eugenichealth law in the Republic of China, taiwan society has changed many times, most notably a severe decline in fertility, sexual prominence and high divorce rates. Taiwan's biggest abortion boom is among adult women under different pressures. Taiwan's social fertility rate has been declining year by year, the elderly population is increasing year by year, and demographic problems such as the imbalance in the ratio of men to women are taking shape. There is also concern that population problems will affect the development of experience, the balance of education and the increase in the burden on society. 」
The six-day thinking period was conditional on "providing sufficient information", but he made no mention of "the physical and psychological pressure solely imposed by the law" and used "the low fertility rate as the main argument". In addition, he stressed that the four words "counseling consultation" should be "for the purpose of protecting the fetus and encouraging women to continue their pregnancy".
These arguments make us wonder whether there is a real value for freedom behind the proposed amendments to this bill and takes into account the rights of women. And when it stresses today the premise of "protecting the fetus" as a prerequisite, does it mean that, under the balance of the two, it still believes that women's rights and interests need to be sacrificed?
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Respect for Life Alliance CEO Chen Qinglong: "Abortion is like a black-road killing, death row prisoners have higher rights than fetuses"
Then we can continue to see the argument that the positive side represents respect for life alliance CEO Chen Qinglong.
"Because of the pressure of legislators and representatives of the public to vote, it is reasonable that this question of life and death should be referred to a referendum." 」
Mr Chan first stressed that "women's rights are important and we are very supportive of women", but based on the "more than 50 per cent of women are forced to have abortions", the six-day thinking period will allow them to receive adequate resources to assist them.
Instead, he argues, the rights and interests of the fetus are seriously discriminated against:
"Why is the abortion rate so high in Taiwan now?" It is because the Eugenichealth Act guarantees that when a pregnancy affects her mental health and family life, she can have an abortion, which is a free-hearted testimony. May I ask, who is pregnant will not affect her entire family, psychology? It's natural! What's so suspicious about that?
"Instead, we are very discriminatory against the human rights of fetuses. We can sit here now, isn't it starting with the fetus? When the baby was born, we said he was one year old. Because in his mother's stomach, he already has a life. You can't cut it off from the middle and say that human rights start at birth, it's a matter of conscience.
After six days of consultation, she had to have an abortion and listen to her. This will not affect what human rights, autonomy ah! "In
death row prisoners than fetuses?" Killing a fetus is as long as a personal free heart, "this will affect my heart, abortion", but a death sentence of three years and five years not to come. So, abortion is murder, the fetus is human life, please note this, thank you. "
Chen Qinglong thinks that women's autonomy is not capped because "human life is a big thing". He even likened abortion to "violence", which is no different from the mafia. In summary, the six-day thinking period is to arouse the public's "conscience" and respect the human rights of the fetus.
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Li Yu-li and lawyer: "The law is about improving social problems, not increasing discrimination against the vulnerable"
As for what's wrong with this thinking? On behalf of the opposite side, Li Wei and his lawyer, they mentioned:
"Human rights matters can be held in a limited manner, but the human rights issues raised today cannot infringe upon the isolated and fragmented structural minority. One of the things we've been thinking about is whether women are isolated and fragmented structurally vulnerable minorities in this matter. Is that if you increase the undue burden on women?
"Perhaps some people would think that it's just a six-day period of thinking, what about six more days if you want an abortion?" One can imagine a situation where oral abortion is now the most common, in medicine about seven weeks is more suitable and safe to use, more than seven weeks is recommended surgery, the longer the surgery risk will be higher. You can think of a case where, when I suspect edges today, maybe it's five or six weeks, I've only got one week left, and I'm going to have six days of reflection? "
He also made an important thought, and we all agree today that the provision of educational information should be perfect, but the question today is, do we have to enforce this with the law? And to use a referendum to push for a revision of the law? Is such an act a limitation of life autonomy?
"You ask, "Are we going to decide the life and death of a life, is six days too many?" I mean, "Six days of course too many!" Everyone is a little narrow erstwhile a woman who decides whether to have children, her personal autonomy. We all seem to think that she doesn't understand, we must educate her more, but that's not the case. I found that I was pregnant, I went to the obstetrics and gynecology, the doctor confirmed that will be evaluated again, must have been carefully considered. 」
So shouldn't the state decide this?
He concluded by saying that he believed that the legal system was intended to improve social problems, not to increase discrimination against them. You may not have this premise, but what worries us most now is that the law will be an unconscious form of discrimination and oppression. And the result of this law applies is to press sex, only to be raised on women.
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Professor Qing Da lin: "The state cannot restrict the right to abortion without authorization because women traditionally bear the responsibility of nourishment"
Finally, let's take a look at what the counter-party, Professor Qing Da lin, said. She discussed the flaws in this referendum proposal, arguing that the provision of information or consultation was right, but that it should not be forced by law? This should be two things: "According to the proponents, if this consultation is to reduce abortion and to be mandatory today, it is very likely to harm women's autonomy." 」
"The revision of the law requires overall consideration. At present, there is a provision in the Eugenic health care law that requires the consent of a spouse for an abortion for a married woman, and there is the suspicion that there is an undue restriction on married women.
"A pregnant person has an abortion, and it's best to have the support of a spouse. But the problem is that it's another thing to use the law to force abortion with even consent. If we do the comparison, we can see that most of the European and American laws mentioned by the proponents already do not require a spouse to agree. "In
1990s, the United States declared that "abortion to inform the husband" was unconstitutional. The long and uncomfortable process of pregnancy is borne by women. The State should not allow women to limit their right to abortion because they have traditionally been responsible for their birth, and women should be given more support. It's right to give women more information, but does it have to be mandatory for six days? "
Accordingly, the counter-position has repeatedly stressed that the provision of information is good, but the use of the "six-day thinking period" before the law to force abortion will not only place a burden on women physically and psychologically, but also be an act of discrimination and oppression against women that is limited by law.
The issue of abortion is not just a single foetal right to life consideration, it often involves the physical and mental state of the parties, social resources and other deeper and broader levels. We reject the abortion referendum proposal that protects women's right to choose on the grounds that they are protected by the rights of life and the power of the war, and that it is in fact a referendum on abortion that controls women's wombs and suppresses women's physical autonomy.
We are also concerned that for an abortion woman who wants to regain her rights, but on the one hand wants more social and emotional support and assistance, the scene of an abortion is often a more complex and chaotic combination. To accompany them along this path, we should propose a more comprehensive approach that would be more comprehensive and truly focused on this group of people than by constantly trying to correct a regressive and ill-thought-out bill on human rights.