National Representative: Dr. Elizabeth Lichtenstein (Sweden)
In Sweden we have slowly been returning to normal during the autumn. With the exception that there are still aware and alert for new COVID-strains and COVID passes are being required as from December 1st if you attend indoor events.
We held a well-attended Regional Meeting at the beginning of November (see separate VP report Northern-Europe) and just a week after that an IRL-meeting in Stockholm for the Swedish National Association where we discussed and listened to lectures about abortion. We started the day with an historical overview where we learned that women in all- times have undergone abortions even if it was illegal and even sometimes was punished with execution. The day continued with medical and political views on abortion where facts show that the amount of teen-age pregnancies a country has is not correlated to abortion laws but access and attitudes to contraception. Today many countries are moving backward when it comes to women´s rights and their own lives the minute they become pregnant. This became obvious when we listened to our last speaker from El Salvador where women are not treated for their own illnesses even if it can affect the foetus in any way. This has also happened in Poland recently. We saw parts of a documentary film “Fly so far” about women who have had obstetric emergencies and are charged with aggravated murder and condemned to 30 years imprisonment for this. Many of these miscarriages occur after domestic violence where the perpetrator goes free of charge and the woman who lost her pregnancy is imprisoned. It is estimated that around 200 women are imprisoned in El Salvador under such accusations. It is urgent that we continue to help women all over the world so that women can fulfil their lives and have the babies they want without losing all their rights due to pregnancy.
Besides our autumn meeting and regional meeting, we have had exco meetings – participated in lobby work for increased facilities to maternity clinics, participated in actions against violence against women and girls and have been active, as always, on social media.