The church near my house, the Noorderkerk, has been defaced with “pro choice” spray painted on the doors of the church.
Abortion is legal here, and is generally considered a woman’s right to chose. Although the law guaranteeing that was granted by a narrow majority we don’t have the radical pro-life movement picketing abortion clinics on a regular basis.
So why this “protest”? Why now? I think it’s connected to the “World Congress of Families” taking place in Amsterdam this week. They’ve described the Netherlands as a “bastion of anti-family policies” in reference to the tolerant policies on gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia.
It’s not a popular conference here, much of the media attention has been negative and has centred around the opening speech of Youth and Family Minister Rouvoet. Various other MPs have seen him as crossing the line from public duty into missionary work.
For his part Mr Rouvoet has stated that he will use the occasion to focus on “Dutch Values”, to declare that he is”the Youth and Family Minister for all families” and to emphasis the importance of building bridges “on the issue of how we can live together in a society in which different views about the family exist.”
I wonder just which “Dutch Values” he will refer to. There was an attempt a few years ago to define Dutch values, it did not go well.