Nordic Amnesty branches unite against Faroese abortion law

04.10.2022 - 10:45
Nordic Amnesty branches unite against Faroese abortion law
Amnesty International Føroyar has asked its Nordic partners for help to amend the Faroese abortion law
Unlike the other Nordic countries, the Faroes do not offer abortion on demand

The Faroese government is coming under increased pressure to change the abortion law.

Amnesty International Føroyar recently asked its Danish counterpart to organise a petition, and the Icelandic, Swedish and the Norwegian branches have subsequently also joined the campaign.

Amnesty’s “Færøerne: giv færøske kvinder ret til abort” online petition reads as follows: “I demand that the Faroese government grants girls and women the right to exercise control over their own bodies.”

As of yesterday, more than 33,000 people had signed the petition.

The plan is to hand the signatures to Faroese social affairs minister Sólvit Nolsø.

 >> SEE ALSO Nordic Council: Faroese abortion law needs an upgrade

Simone Nørholm Jacobsen, of the Danish Amnesty International branch, sees nothing wrong with Nordic Amnesty branches joining the Faroese debate.

“Every time we launch an international petition, the objective is to apply pressure to a nation whose legislation violates human rights,” she says.

“The principle remains the same regardless of whether the nation is Iran, Afghanistan, the US or the Faroes.”

 >> SEE ALSO Poll: no need to amend abortion law

She explains that Amnesty supports the United Nations’ stance on abortion.

“We believe that the human rights of the pregnant woman should take precedence over those of a fertilised egg.”

Turið Maria Jóhansdótir, president of Amnesty International Føroyar, is also keen to defend the idea of the Nordic branches joining in the Faroese debate on abortion.

“It is in Amnesty’s genetic make-up to work together. All branches across the world have a two-pronged approach to their work: domestic and international campaigns. What we are doing here is exactly what Amnesty International is supposed to be doing.”

 >> SEE ALSO Lowest abortion rate in the Nordic region

However, this initiative is not welcomed by all. Upon hearing about Amnesty’s plans about a week ago, Jóan Magnus Magnussen in Miðvágur decided to launch an online petition to maintain the existing abortion law.

“I am of the belief that not everything should be as free as it is, and I didn’t think it was right that Amnesty interferes in this matter,” he explains.

His ”Ímóti fríari fosturtøku í Føroyum” (“Against free abortion in the Faroes”) petition has been running for a week and as of yesterday, 874 people had signed.


Read the Faroese version of this article here.

More Faroese News in English.

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