DFrom a dramatic point of view, the supporters of the right to abortion and its opponents could hardly have met better on Saturday in Munich. The rally ends two minutes' walk from Königsplatz, where the others gather for the “March for Life”. While the acoustic scene among the supporters is dominated by performers like the Eastern Bloc sluts, brass music reigns supreme over there. Both sides don't see each other yet, but they know: their paths will cross in an hour.

The supporters are already talking hotly shortly after midday. The arguments presented on stage: Every person has the right to decide about their body. Nobody should have to decide to have an abortion for financial reasons. Abortion should be taught as standard in medical school. The counter-demonstration was registered by the “Alliance for Sexual Self-Determination”. Motto: “My body, my choice!”

Abortion is currently illegal in Germany, according to Section 218 of the Criminal Code. However, an abortion remains unpunished until the twelfth week of pregnancy if advice was given beforehand. Those in favor of abortion rights believe the momentum is on their own side. On Friday, the Bundestag passed the Self-Determination Act, which is intended to create more autonomy in the area of ​​gender identity.

“No God, no state, no patriarchy”

This Monday, a commission of experts appointed by the traffic light government will recommend the fundamental legalization of abortions in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. A woman from the organizing team points out that they do not support the position of the expert commission, but that the commission is finally formulating a position that they have been fighting for for decades. But there is a danger that the wheel of time will be turned back. That's what the others wanted. They, on the other hand, wanted everyone to be free. The demonstration had previously chanted what that meant: “no God, no state, no patriarchy”.

Over on Königsplatz there are two siblings, she is 23, studying special education in Freiburg, he, 21, lives in Bavaria and is training to become a steel former. They say about themselves that they are Catholic and have been to the “March for Life” several times. When asked whether they were generally against abortion, they answered in the affirmative. Even in the case of rape. There is still the option of adoption. The young man carries a sign that says: “Becoming a mother – being a woman is not possible anymore.” When asked how he knew this and whether he was sure, he said restrictively: “If you don't have children, you are still not no woman.”

Proponents of abortion rights claim to be colorful. At least that's what they are visually. However, the real colorfulness is missing from some of the people who are more likely to be found over at Königsplatz: clergy, small children, old people. But there are also a lot of young people here. The speakers at Königsplatz make it clear that it is not those over there that stand for life, but rather for life in the mother's womb. Birgit Kelle, mother of four and conservative journalist, says: “They don’t have to come in handy with us. We are happy about every child.” Standing up for the weakest in society, “for unborn children, for mothers in need, that is politically neither right-wing nor left-wing, but rather is the mandate of our constitution.” She is clearly against legalization up to the 12th week. This is “just the gateway drug”. She fears that there are other dangers beyond the question of abortion: egg donation, surrogacy.

No consideration for political opponents

Over there, with the others, there is an “awareness pavilion” where you can go if you find another person’s behavior to be transgressive or need a tampon. The great consideration towards one's own people is not reflected one-to-one in the way one addresses one's political opponent. On the one hand, the enemies are also being gendered – “fundamentalists” – but on the other hand it is said: “Be loud against this racist, sexist, anti-feminist filth.”

According to the police, around 1,000 people have now turned up for the supporters, and there are 3,000 at the “March for Life” – in each case significantly fewer than expected. The march was registered by an association called “Voice of the Silent”, which is considered anti-feminist and anti-queer. But even the Competence Center for Democracy and Human Dignity, set up by the Bavarian bishops in 2018, recently recommended staying away from the “March for Life”. In recent years, radical and extreme right-wing actors have also taken part in the event.

This apparently doesn't concern Regensburg Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer. While the Passau Bishop Stefan Oster only sent a word of greeting, Voderholzer came personally and stood at the front of the stage. Any attempt to speak to him is stopped in the bud. Maybe he's still upset because he was attacked six months ago for walking at the March for Life in Berlin in the neighborhood of a young man who gave the racist white power salute? In the end, the only thing that can be elicited from Voderholzer is that he is there at every “March for Life”.

After about an hour, the “March for Life” starts moving – and passes the counter-demonstrators. The marchers adhere to the request to maintain composure. Some proudly show that they are being treated with hostility by the counter-demonstrators. They scream: “If Maria had had an abortion, we would have been spared.”

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