Kathy Schiffer is a Catholic blogger. In addition to her blog Seasons of Grace, her articles have appeared in the National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Zenit, the Michigan Catholic, Legatus Magazine, and other Catholic publications. She’s worked for Catholic and other Christian ministries since 1988, as radio producer, director of special events and media relations coordinator. Kathy and her husband, Deacon Jerry Schiffer, have three adult children.
A coalition of feminist groups from several European nations has joined together this week to fly a drone across the border from Germany to Poland, to bring abortion to the women of that traditionally pro-life country.
The women's groups involved in the project are Women on Waves; Cocia Basia, a Berlin-based abortion support group for Polish women; Feminteka Foundation from Warsaw; and the 8th of March women's rights collective. (March 8 is celebrated in Russia and around the world as International Women's Day.)
You'd think, to read the coalition's publicity materials, that tear-stained young women were lined up along the border, rubbing their swollen bellies and gazing woefully into that better place where women's rights were respected and where their bodies were their own. The Women on Waves website calls the “right to healthy sexuality” an issue of both human rights and social justice. In their release regarding the abortion drone, they report that “poor women have little choice but to resort to unsafe providers, causing deaths and morbidities that become the social and financial responsibility of the public health system” and “Laws and policies on abortion should protect women’s health and their human rights.” They call for an end to regulatory, policy and programmatic barriers to abortion.
The drone will carry the oral abortifacients Mifepristone and Misoprostol. In the early stages of pregnancy (up to nine weeks), a woman can self-administer the drugs at home—swallowing one tablet of 200 mg Mifepristone and then, 24 hours later, placing four tablets (800 µg) of Misoprostol under her tongue (sublingual).
The drone, laden with its noxious cargo, will be launched at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 27. It will carry its load from “Am Winterhafen” (Winter Harbor) in Frankfurt, Germany, where abortion and contraception are readily available, and will cross the Oder River to Sludice, Poland. The final destination in the city will be announcedon Friday evening. Since the drone will be visually controlled and will not fly into controlled airspace, and since it weighs less than 5 kg (approximately 11 pounds), no pre-approval for the flight will be required from either German or Polish authorities.
In Germany, where only 30% of the population is Catholic and nearly 35% claim no religion at all, abortion is legal. The German National Statistics Bureau reports that there were 99,700 abortions performed last year in Germany last year.
In contrast, Poland, which is 91% Catholic, permits abortion only in cases of rape or incest, when the woman's life is in danger, or if there is potential damage to the fetus. With those restrictions, Poland reported just 744 abortions during the same period.