On 18 september 2010, Swiss fundamentalist anti-abortion groups (all of them rather small) will hold a manifestation with an oecumenical mass (evangelical and catholic) on the streets of Zürich, “March for Life”, similar to the march which will be hold in Berlin, Germany, on the same date.

No church was willing to host them for the mass. That why they will celebrate it on a public square.

The sponsors are:

Arbeitsgruppe Jugend & Familie www.ig3plus.ch (youth and family, grouping traditional families with 3 or more children) Christen für die Wahrheit www.cft.ch christians for truth EDU Schweiz www.edu-schweiz.ch evangelical political party (very small) Familienlobby Schweiz www.familienlobby.ch very conservative lobbying group Human Life International www.human-life.ch Ja zum Leben www.ja-zum-leben.ch yes to life, this is the only group of any numerical importance. Pro Life www.prolife.ch an organisation organizing collective health insurance for its members (who have to declare that they will never have an abortion) Zeitschriften ‘ethos’ und ‘factum’ www.schwengeler.ch conservative christian journals Zukunft CH, www.zukunft-ch.ch fundamentalist political pressure group (no significance)

A Swiss parliamentarian of the right-wing “Swiss peoples party” (Schweizerische Volkspartei, ) will be the main speaker. This party, although being conservative and cherishing the traditional family model, is very much divided on the abortion question.

Up to now they have only received 872 signatures to their manifesto.



Bioethics Committee of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference

The Committee has a consultative status with the Bishops’ conference on questions of reproduction, genetic engeneering, stem cell research etc.

Among the 11 members there are at least 3 leading members of Human Life International (Swiss section). One of them is presiding the Committee.

Only 1 female member.

Switzerland is a good example of how liberal abortion legislation is important, but not sufficient to guarantee access to abortion to all women.

In 1942, Switzerland was one of the first countries in Western Europe to legalize abortion for health reasons. Two doctors had to agree that the pregnancy held a great risk of severely and lastingly damageing the health of the woman. Soon doctors began interpreting the law very differently, some including broad mental health reasons for legal abortion, others accepting only vital indications. Practice differed also greatly between cantons (counties). „Abortion tourism“ was flourishing from conservative cantons and from other countries to liberal cantons like Geneva or Zurich.

Over the decades abortion practice was liberalized in ever more cantons, an evolution speeded up by political campaigns and lobbying from 1971 onwards.

In 2002 finally, the Swiss Union for Decriminalizing Abortion (Schweizerische Vereinigung für Straflosigkeit des Schwangerschaftsabbruchs / Union suisse pour décriminaliser l’avortement SVSS/USPDA), founded in 1973, succeeded in getting abortion on request within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (Fristenregelung / régime du délai) adopted in a referendum, by gorgeous 72,2% of the votes. Simultaneously, a constitutional amendment for a total abortion ban, proposed by the anti-abortionists, was defeated by 81,7%.