Prominent women’s rights and pro-choice activist Lara Dimitrijevic has issued an impassioned plea for critics of abortion to put themselves into the shoes of women who have undergone the process.
“To those who felt privileged enough to resort to name calling and belittling me and members of the coalition I proudly form part of, I ask that you have a good look at reality,” Dimitrijevic said. “We are a voice for those who for whatever reason chose to terminate their pregnancy. We are not in that person’s shoes, we do not know why she chose to terminate, but nor should we judge for it.”
“That is her privilege, her entitlement, a decision that she made by her own free conscience, just as much as you are privileged to have your own conscience, your own morality, your own belief.”
“What we all in the world do not have, is the entitlement to impose our morality and beliefs onto others”
Dimitrijevic helps run the Women’s Rights Foundation, one of a couple of NGOs which last weekend launched ‘Voice for Choice – L-Għażla Tagħha’, a pro-choice coalition which will lobby for the legalisation of abortion.
She urged people to visit the Facebook page Break The Taboo Malta and read the personal accounts of women who have undergone abortions.
“I cry with every story that I read, I feel joy to hear them express relief and I continue to remain ever humbled by their courage and can never thank them enough for sharing their very intimate experience with us,” she said.
“How dare any of us call those people murderers? How can we come out and pass blanket comments that every person who terminated her pregnancy is a killer? Do you honestly feel that those women/people deserve your privileged comments?”
She referred to the case of Lucia, an 11-year-old Argentinian girl who became pregnant through rape and was forced to give birth after the Argentine authorities refused to allow her to undergo an abortion.
“Would she deserve your shallow name calling had she terminated her pregnancy?” Dimitrijevic asked. “Do our girls deserve that? Lest we forget that in Malta in recent years at least six Maltese girls aged between 10-14 years have been forced to carry pregnancies to the end. And yes, I would say that they are forced to because they have no alternative. To top it all up, the privileged resort to calling them sluts.”
“Let me make it clear, I am a privileged middle-class woman, privileged to be financially stable, privileged to have the most adorable husband and three gorgeous children,” she finished. “My pride and joy. And yes, because I am privileged, I will continue to speak up for those that are less privileged. I will continue to be their voice and fight for her għazla. Nothing will stop me, especially not your mean and disgusting comments.”
Cover photo: Lara Dimitrijevic at a women’s rights rally. Photo: Alexander Dimitrijevic (Facebook)