The Greek government’s decision calling for a removal of anti-abortion banners from the Athens Metro prompted the reaction of the pro-life movement named “Let Me Live!”
The movement was created two years ago by 19 Orthodox Christian groups and with the support of the Hellenic Association of High Commissioners of large families to inform the public on the rights of the unborn child. Created to help women keep their child when pressured into abortion, the group is accused of exert guilt on women who choose to terminate their pregnancies.
Since appearing on the subway the posters prompted widespread debate, resulting in the intervention of Greek Transport Minister Costas Karamanlis which the ‘Let Me Live’ movement has dubbed as “democratically unacceptable and unconstitutional”.
They released a statement condemning the move to have their posters taken down. An excerpt from their statement reads: “Do we as citizens of this country, but also as collective entities, have the right to express our opinion freely? Since when has there been censorship in Greece and we are not aware of it?”
The campaign is titled “Did you know that…?” and features posters giving information about the different stages of the evolution of human embryo.
The posters sparked a huge debate on abortion not seen since the mid-1980s when Greece became one of the first countries to legalize abortions in 1986 with widespread consensus by both left-wing and right-wing parties at the time.
The posters also draw attention to censorship. The statement of the ‘Let Me Live’ movement questions whether the removal of the posters constitutes an infringement of the group’s democratic rights: “Is the Minister, and all politicians and high profile people, who claim to respect our democratic system, oblivious of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 19), which has been ratified by the Greek Parliament, or the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Article 10)? And most importantly, do they know what the Constitution of their country (Art. 14) defines as censorship?”
The group also thank the Greek minister for shedding light on the topic of abortion by censoring their views on the controversial topic.
“The fact that the whole society is discussing the issue of the protection of the unborn child yesterday, is due to the prohibition of public speaking on an issue that is the subject of scientific conferences and institutional dialogue in other countries.”