Remeber how pengovsky wrote that the backlash by the political right and the Catholic Church will be fast and furious on account of having succeeded in defeating the Family Code? Well, turns out I was wrong. The backlast was neither fast nor furious. It was moving at fukcing warp 9 and despite the fact that the move comes from a conservative pressure group and not the government itself, it closely resembles what Naomi Klein dubbed the Shock Doctrine.
The road to the holy grail outlined (source)
With Slovenia (together with the rest of the Eurozone) seeing no end to the economic crisis, the government of Janez Janša is trying to enact an austerity programme which makes the reform attempts of the previous government look like a walk in the park. Finance minsiter Janez Šušteršič is looking to cut EUR 800 million in budget spendind and as a result a downgrade in all sorts of downgrades in welfare state goodies (the official euphemism being “the thinning of the public sector”) including many family-related benefits. Enter the pressure groups which just succeeded in defeating the new Family Code on a referendum. While opposing the cuts in family benefits they sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grab the holy grail of the hardcore chauvinistic and medieval agenda which is mistakenly called pro-life.
Under the guise of being co-operative and understanding towards the government austerity attempts (“we realise we can spend only as much as we earn” and “we know that as a society we are living beyond our means“), they offer an alternative, which they call “cuts in the super-standard and non-disease conditions“. Specifically: freezing payments to the Public sector> pension fund, removal of funding for hormonal contraception and removal of funding for artifical abortions.
Yes. They want to kick the pill and abortions from the list of publicly available treatments. The right to family planning is enshrined in the constitution and even back then the Roman Catholic Church raised hell over it. It ended with a compromise wording of Article 55:
“Everyone shall be free to decide whether to bear children. The state shall guarantee the opportunities for exercising this freedom and shall create such conditions as will enable parents to decide to bear children.”
The proposal, should it be enacted, effectively removes the provisions of Article 55 and succeeds in what the Church was after all these years. The manner, however, is most perfidious and – again – in line with what the Republican party has been doing for all these years in the US, on a variety of issues, from gun control to abortion and health-care. With a keep-the-right-but-cut-the-finances approach they get what they want but without all the legal and constitutional hassle. After all, it’s just a line in the budget.
This episode proves that – contrary to what the pressure groups opposing the Family Code were claiming – they were not trying to maintain the status quo, but rather roll back the whole family-related legislation. Never mind the spike in teenage pregnancies, unwanted children and back alley abortion which are bound to be the result of this.
In fact, let’s take it up a notch. If the pill and abortion funding are cut and teenagers (who are not all that careful about having sex to begin with) start giving birth to children they don’t want or can’t afford to bring up, these hard-line conservatives will have increased the possibility of child trafficking, the very thing they falsely claimed the Family Code would make possible.