Austria should learn from NI: a personal story

Both Lives Matter | Blog | Austria should learn from NI: a personal story

For the last 6 weeks I have had the honor to work with “Both Lives Matter”. Learning from great and passionate people who really care about others and human flourishing was life-changing. Growing up in Austria, I was never confronted with issues regarding abortion. Nobody talks about it in Austria. You never hear about it in the news. You don’t learn about it at schools or university. Even as a law student, abortion was never discussed as a legal or political matter.

Austria is one of the only countries that does not gather reliable abortion statistics. Of course, people know what abortion is, but we have that silent rule that you can’t judge people and thus can’t talk about it. This silent rule also applies to politicians. Although many campaigns asked the government for amending the laws to have a legal foundation for gathering abortion statistics, politicians keep refusing to listen to these many voices.

It seems like the less we talk about abortion and the less we know about abortion rates and reasons why women choose to have an abortion, the better. However talking about abortion is not about judging people, it’s about supporting women in need and protecting both lives – the mother’s life and the life of the unborn. Importantly, without knowing and understanding the real struggles pregnant women are facing, it is impossible to support women in the best possible way.

Working with “Both Lives Matter” has shown me how important it is to talk about abortion and what impact it has upon a society. Sometimes, it seems like there are not enough people who speak up and are able to make a change, but it only needs a few courageous people that stand up for women, putting all their effort and heart into that sensitive issue, to show that every human being deserves to be loved and treated with dignity. But without those courageous and kind hearted people, the world would look differently. Let us be one of those courageous people that approach others with the kindness and respect! Let us fight against those who do not care!

Going back home, I know I will try to start discussions and make people think more about abortion. I will try to show the beautiful side of pregnancies and stand up for women in need due to a crisis pregnancy. We as a society have to show that we care about women and that we are not leaving women alone making a life-changing decision. I have learned that telling women it’s just her decision does not always help her. We need to be supportive of the real needs and struggles of a pregnant woman.

“Both Lives Matter” showed me how much individuals care about their community and the people they are surrounded with. I have seen how badly people who have the courage to stand up for both – the mother and the unborn child- are treated by politicians and the media. Still, they keep going and put all their effort into changing the culture for the better. This gives me so much hope and encouragement. If there are more people speaking up for treating every human being with dignity it would be like lights lightning up around the whole world. Going home, I know I want to be one of those lights.