On the right of choice or how the question – When are you going to have children ? – started to be offensive to me


On the right of choice or how the question – When are you going to have children ? – started to be offensive to me.

I am 28 years of age. Two years ago I obtained my MA in Acting. I am employed. I have regular, sound monthly wages. I have health and social insurance. I have a home of my own. And I have no intention of having children in the next 7-8 years. And no, I do no feel at all that I am a bad person because of this.

I adore children. I admire their courage, their fantasy, their honesty. I like spending time with children, talking to them, playing with them. I know how to change dippers, I am also able to feed them and put them to bed. Thus, should you need to, feel free to leave your child in my care. In less than two months my best friend will become a father for the first time; I cannot wait for this baby to be born. I cannot wait! There it is, I love children, I love them a lot, but for now I love someone else’s children. But for the time being do not want children of my own.

This does not make me a bad person. This attitude of mine does not make me ultra-liberal, neither does it make me a bitch nor a traitor to my nation. Therefore, nobody has the right to insult me or judge me. Concerning this question, no one has the right to pick and poke in my head, in my heart or in my panties. Because this is my personal decision .

Sex is a unique, an incredibly exciting, and a releasing thing. It is a complete liberation of rationality, an intensive existence in a moment and a space in which reality does not reach. Which would mean liberty. But… I agree that spontaneity is important and contributes to quality, still I would gladly trade some spontaneity for good results at my Pap test. Thought it is undoubtedly romantic when your boyfriend surprises you by giving you daisies, but there is nothing romantic about him surprising you by giving you HPV. On the contrary it is remarkably unpleasant. It is great to lay in embrace and to think up names of for your baby, but it is not great to have to give up all your dreams and life plans in one instant, just because you have had and unplanned pregnancy that you could not have prevented because you could not afford protection or because the Law on Pregnancy Termination does not allow you to have an abortion.

The decision to have or not to have a child is a deeply intimate decision. This is why when at the beginning of this summer the draft bill on changes of the Law on Pregnancy Termination was announced I felt personally, intimately affected. I was frightened. I felt physically threatened. My body was threatened. Somebody had been bold enough to take my body and profit with it. To use it as support for their cro-magnon believes about family, the role of women, the preservation of the nation and similar poppycock. For the fulfillment of their political agendas intended to defocus attention form the existential problems that are faced everyday by the majority of people in this country, like – Will we have what to eat for dinner tomorrow? How will I buy boots for my child this winter? What will I pay the bills with?

With the passing of this bill…let me remind you that 23 women MPs voted aye … that is 23 women half of which I am certain have at least one daughter or grand-daughter..with the passing of that bill the social, health and general position of the women is terrifyingly jeopardized.

So far we have been flabbergasted with data about the consequences of merciless laws and customs because of which wo

men do not have a chance to get educated, are on daily bases exposed to constant home violence, have no access to prenatal and postnatal health care, are forcefully sterilized, have no right to decide for themselves when and whom they will marry but are forced to get married when they turn ten, to men 3-4 times older than them, have highly risky pregnancies because their young bodies are not yet ready to carry a baby, live in environments in which newly-born girls are taken form their mothers and are killed. Yes, these are the scary examples in which the law rules not taking in account women’s rights.

Still, the law that governs in one province in Burma, which bans women of a certain Muslim ethnic group to have more than two children and the new Law on Pregnancy Termination in the Republic of Macedonia are essentially very similar. Both laws are results of demographic policies. Both laws do to aim towards the improvement of access of women towards better health care, nor do they contribute to the access to contraceptives. And above all else, both laws do not take in consideration  women’s human rights.  Both laws force and discriminate. In both cases the law decides not the woman. Yet practice shows that there isn’t a good healthcare initiative that is not supported on human rights.

The focus of family planning programmes should not be turned towards realizing numbers, but towards the quality and the availability of services. Let us be honest, forming committees that bring decisions, which will affect a girl’s entire life, withing three days is not care for women’s health. If the governing structures continue to ignore the evident infraction of human right the result is going to be counterproductive, whilst the most affected groups, women and girls, will end up without the basic right to free choice.hat governs in one province in Burma, which bans women of a certain Muslim ethnic group to have more than two children and the new Law on Pregnancy Termination in the Republic of Macedonia are essentially very similar. Both laws are results of demographic policies. Both laws do to aim towards the improvement of access of women towards better health care, nor do they contribute to the access to contraceptives. And above all else, both laws do not take in consideration women’s human rights. Both laws force and discriminate. In both cases the law decides not the woman. Yet practice shows that there isn’t a good healthcare initiative that is not supported on human rights.

This same government that has such a view of the role of women and family planing, and which proposes and passes such a middle-age law, creates strategies in which expenses for contraceptives shall be covered by the national healthcare insurance. I must admit this makes me very mistrustful. In particular because numbers tell us that not much is done in the field. Which indicates that the state does not fulfill the obligations, which it has taken up with its own strategic documents. In public all the trumpets are proclaiming that it is our obligation to provide the nation with offspring, and that children are our greatest wealth… I fear that one day the abortion will be made illegal. Today the price for contraceptives is one of the basic reasons for their low usage amongst girls. As things are going I am afraid that one day it will not be possible for them to be bought on legal medicine market.

Ignorance, as well as attitudes of gynecologists themselves concerning contraception are beyond any doubt factors for the low confidence in modern contraception. So, instead of throwing money on shameful and insulting advertisements that stigmatize the right to choose not to become a parent under certain conditions, and pointing fingers at and accusing of murder, those who due to objective reasons have taken advantage of this right, are using in now, or might be forced to do so in future, it can be invested in educating the young on how to avoid having to have to bring this difficult decision. In encouraging the young to use contraception. In making it accessible to them. In moving form situations where boys are thinking that girls are bothersome in continually insisting to have protected sex to girls confidently using anti-baby pills without fear of growing mustache. From not being ashamed to by condoms in the supermarket to being able to, in the financial scene, afford regular purchases of oral contraceptives.

kristinaThe correct perception to contraception allows us to take care of our body, of ourselves and of those we wish to be intimate with, of those we love. The existence and availability of possibilities for our own protection and the protection of our partner makes us certain, self-confident and gives us a feeling that in a certain way we hold things in our own hands, delivering us form fear. It is only in this way that we see sex not as a threat but as an enjoyment. The availability of modern contraceptives to the young in Macedonia, today, does not only shield them form unwanted pregnancy but also from the newly-passed law. It allows them to plan. To be able to enjoy, to be able to spend a few years abroad, to travel and to be carefree. To be young. To become parents when they really feel ready for it and when their desire and need to do it are so strong that they are prepared to realize them. Not to do it because there was no other way out, because they have been forced, or because they owe it to their nation.

The availability of modern contraception for the young is the availability of choice. It is a possibility to practice the right to choose; which is a basic human right.

The speech from the Youth Conference on Modern Contraception held on 26th September, the Macedonian text was published on okno.mk

Kristina Lelovac, Tiiiiit! Inc.

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