Timo Soini (BR), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, has once again raised eyebrows by declaring his opposition to abortion.
Soini on Friday commended the Argentine Senate for rejecting a bill that would have legalised abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. “Long live life! Stronger than death,” he wrote in his personal blog.
“What do I think about the senate’s decision last night?” he continued, answering his own question with an emoji blowing a kiss.
His blog post provoked a response from several of his fellow cabinet members who were concerned that it could obfuscate the official position of Finland.
“Finland promotes the rights of women and girls all over the world. Argentina makes its own decisions, but the National Coalition is not pleased about this setback in efforts to improve the position of women,” tweeted Anne-Mari Virolainen (NCP), the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development.
“Soini’s anti-abortion view is also not the government’s view.”
Annika Saarikko (Centre), the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, similarly argued that allowing abortions is a key aspect of responsible equality and human rights policy making.
“Finland is not about to slip from this principle in the national or international arena. The more challenging the circumstances for promoting reproductive and sexual health, the more resilient and consistent Finland must become,” she wrote in a press release.
Soini responded to the criticism on his blog by arguing that freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and freedom of religion belong to everyone in Western democracies such as Finland.
“Finland is a great country. You’re allowed to state your opinion here. To believe and not believe. To support and oppose different things. Finland has to be that way also in the future. For everyone. Sometimes I go with the herd, sometimes alone. Sometimes you have to have the courage to be a one-man majority,” he stated.
Soini in May kindled a similar outcry by voicing his disappointment with the outcome of an abortion referendum in Ireland.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Aku Häyrynen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi