Muslims in Yogya demonstrate against legalisation of abortion

Source – September 16, 2005
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia protest against Mss World in Yogyakarta (Merdeka)
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia protest against Mss World in Yogyakarta (Merdeka)

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta – Around 700 members of the Islamic mass organisation Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) in Yogyakarta, Central Java, held an action opposing the legalisation of abortion though amendments to Law Number 23/1992 on Healthcare.

As well as being prohibited by Islam, abortion also represents one of the formers of violence against women and legitimises the practice of free sex they said.

The action, which began at 2pm on Friday September 16, was concentrated at the intersection in front of the central post office on Jalan Senopati in Yogyakarta.

Earlier, the hundreds of demonstrators held a long-march from three points. From the north, demonstrators set out from the grounds of the Syuhada Mosque on Jalan I Dewa Nyoman Oka in Kotabaru traveling via Jalan Sudirman, Jalan Mangkubumi, Jalan Malioboro and Jalan Ahmad Yani.

In the east, the demonstration stared in front of the Makam Pahlawan Park on Jalan Kusumanegara traveling via Jalan Sultan Agung and ending at Jalan Senopati. From the south meanwhile, demonstrators set out from the Danunegaran Mosque on Jalan Parangtritis going via Jalan Brigjen Katamso, Jalan Ibu Ruswo and Jalan Trikora.

After arriving at the post office, demonstrators formed a line across the length of the intersection while a pickup truck was used as a platform for speeches. The demonstration was guarded by dozens of Yogyakarta municipal police. As well as distributing leaflets opposing the legalisation of abortion though a legislative amendments demonstrators also brought posters and HTI flags.

In a speech, one of the participants, M. Syarif, warned that the Islamic community and the citizens of Indonesia must have the courage to oppose amendments to healthcare law, which is intended to legalise abortion or intentional miscarriages. This is because the legalisation of abortion will not solve women’s problems. “On the contrary this represents a form of violence against women and is a serious crime”, he said. Syarif recalled that efforts to amend this law were made in April 2003 but failed.

Similar remarks were conveyed by HTI’s public relations officer, Yoyok Indro Prasetyo. Prasetyo said that the root of the abortion problem has never been dealt with, that is unwanted pregnancies. If this is considered to be the reason, what must be done is to remove all of the causes of this. (umi)

[Translated by James Balowski.]