The first person who made it clear to me that the USA is not the country of dreams that it presents itself as was my geography teacher in high school. He said he was not traveling to any country where the death penalty still applies.
That seemed pretty obvious to me. So my 16-year-old self decided to join this mini-sanction. Albeit not very consistently. I consume masses of series, films, music and trends from the USA. My use of language is peppered with Anglicisms. So I can impose sanctions about as well as Switzerland.
Later, more and more reasons came up why I don’t really find the USA intoxicating. For example, I have dealt with gun laws, racial profiling and mass arrests of black and Hispanic people.
Military budget up, women’s protections down
Recently, another cogent argument appeared on my agenda: the US highest court apparently wants to overturn the right to abortion, which means that abortion could be banned again in individual states.
For me and many other young people, reports like this feel like a journey back to the Middle Ages. There is no question that a woman can decide for herself about her body. I was all the more astonished when I realized that Switzerland only had a time-limited solution for abortions up to the 12th week since 2001.
It is strange that a “Western” country like the USA is now in the process of reversing this development. And paradoxically, the United States has a military budget that is equivalent to Switzerland’s gross domestic product – and yet they want to jeopardize the security of their own citizens.
It’s none of my business – and neither is the state
After all, abortions will continue to exist – now they will simply be illegal and often under precarious circumstances. There are countless reasons why women choose to do this. None of this is my business, yours, or the state’s.
I think it’s absolutely right that young women are taking to the streets around the world because of this. Abortion bans are life-threatening, misogynistic and, as far as I can see, the vast majority of my generation do not support them.
Incidentally, it is important to keep an eye on this development in Germany as well. While the National Council blessed the army with a grant of two billion francs, committees are collecting signatures for initiatives that want to tighten abortion practices in Switzerland.
Hopefully they don’t stand a chance. I can hardly sanction my country.
Noa Dibbasey (21) studies social sciences at the University of Bern. She writes in Blick every other Friday.