Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini’s (BR) views on abortion are medieval, states Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party.
“I think it’s slightly disconcerting if your thoughts revolve too much around questions like this. I think there should also be other themes in politics,” Halla-aho stated in a news conference held in Helsinki on Monday, 13 August.
Soini reiterated his well-documented opposition to abortion in his blog last week after a bill that would have legalised abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy was rejected by the Argentine Senate. Argentina, he wrote, is a great country and the birthplace of Pope Francis.
Soini has repeatedly come under criticism from both his ministerial colleagues and opposition members for publicly expressing his opposition to abortion during his tenure as the minister for foreign affairs. In May, for example, he participated in an anti-abortion vigil during an official visit to Ottawa, Canada.
The issue is seemingly not straightforward also for the Finns Party, which according to its chairperson is supportive of neither abortion nor the criminalisation of abortion.
“I’d say the mainstream view within the Finns Party is that even though no one supports abortion, which in a way is maybe the wrong choice of words and abortion is always a tragedy, on the other hand the world is full of examples of how attempts to criminalise abortion can make the situation much worse,” phrased Halla-aho.
“I think the recent debate has been rather medieval in this respect,” he added.
Soini led the Finns Party for two decades until until the dramatic party conference in mid-2017, which saw Halla-aho and his supporters sweep all the top leadership positions and Soini and 19 others ultimately abandon the Finns Party. Soini had announced a few months earlier he would not be seeking re-election as the chairperson of the populist party.
The splinter group later re-branded itself as the Blue Reform.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi