Launch of the project
BRAVE SISTERS CROATIA
BRAVE SISTERS CROATIA
On the International Day of Safe Abortion on September 28, 2020, the Croatian humanist and feminist association Center for Civil Courage launched its new feminist project: “Brave Sisters“. Following the example of our humanist colleagues from the Dutch Humanist Association (Dutch Humanistisch Verbond), we established a network of women in Croatia who provide support to women who decide they want to have an abortion.
This type of activism differs from the loud – but no less important – political advocacy regarding the right to safe, free, and legal abortion (without counseling), which we pursue in common with all feminist associations in Croatia. But our feminist struggle is multidimensional, and in this new path, we will offer a hand of solidarity to women who specifically ask us for support.
By the end of 2020, over 130 women from all over Croatia and abroad have applied. The testimonies of these women, their concern, but also their determination confirmed that we did well in launching this project. Feminist and humanist activists from the USA, Canada, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, and Serbia are participating in this project.
After the end of the application period, our main goal was the education of the women in three fields: basic medicine about conception and abortion, basic knowledge about psychological assistance, and basic knowledge about the feminist movement. Even if some brave sisters would never get the chance to be a company to a woman, they would be enough prepared to spread their knowledge in their communities and thus to stop the prejudice, stigma, and unscientific claims of the anti-abortion movement.
In the first quarter of 2021, we evaluated applications and held education and now we can proudly say – 40 brave sisters are ready to support and accompany women on abortion.
The responsibility of or brave sisters is to provide unconditional support and protection to a woman with an unwanted pregnancy in understanding her own reproductive rights. At a time when elected political representatives and, unfortunately, for the most part, the gynecological profession itself is undermining the reproductive rights of women in Croatia, it is our responsibility to provide an atmosphere of security and respect for the women who turn to us for support. We accompany women seeking reproductive care on the walk from their homes to the clinic, during which it’s likely the women will encounter anti-abortion protesters who attempt to shame or dissuade women from going through with the procedure.
The Brave Sisters support women in accessing the care they need. We will psychologically and morally support women in their decision to have an abortion, we will accompany them when they go to the hospital for examinations and conversations with doctors, and during the procedure itself. We contribute to creating welcoming, supportive environments for women, and play an essential role in de-stigmatizing abortion — a normal part of healthcare.
Picture: Nada Peratović, founder of the Center for Civil Courage, and initiator of the “Brave Sisters” project.