Parliamentary questions about abortion song by punk band Vulva

MPs from the ChristenUnie and SGP ask the Minister of Health (VWS) in parliamentary questions about the legal options for taking action against the Rotterdam punk band Vulva. That band praises the freedom to have an abortion, and the way in which they do that repulses the MPs.

“Are there administrative or legal options to take action against this?” Chris Stoffer of the SGP and Mirjam Bikker of the governing party ChristenUnie ask Minister Ernst Kuipers (VSW). They are mainly concerned with the song ‘Kill the Baby’, about abortion. Stoffer and Bikker find the way Vulva expresses himself “about something as vulnerable as abortion” “downright shocking”.

Read also an interview with Kim Hoorweg: ‘I was driven into the profession way too early’

Consciously rude

The band Vulva organized a mini-festival in the Arminiuskerk in Rotterdam at the end of August, in honor of the release of their first album, Woe to the Wicked. Their music and lyrics are deliberately rude, said Kim Hoorweg of the band earlier in NRC: „It is playing hard and kicking against everything. We want to make a subject such as abortion, still in the penal code, open for discussion. (…) Find it difficult or ridiculous what we say. I feel the tension you feel now every day.”

Kill the baby / I’m not your mommy / just kill the baby / my uterus‘ Hoorweg and fellow band member Nadya van Osnabrugge sing in ‘Kill the Baby’. In the music video accompanying the song, a plastic baby doll is set on fire, thrown out of a window, given to a dog to chew and then placed on an electric chair.

“The parliamentary questions show that the right to abortion must be removed from the penal code and protected as soon as possible,” says Hoorweg. “You see a relatively small but loud group taking political action and attempting censorship. This shows how easily we can end up in a similar situation to America that now seems absurd.”

Anti-abortion protesters

The two band members have also been threatened since their album presentation, and at their concert in the dB’s hall in Utrecht, some anti-abortion demonstrators handed out flyers and held a prayer circle. According to the Reformation Newspaper the protesters were pelted with tomatoes, apples and a stone.

It also disturbs the MPs of SGP and ChristenUnie that the AVA organization was involved in the event in the Arminiuskerk. AVA, an initiative of the Humanist Association that provides information about contraception and abortion in collaboration with foundations such as Rutgers, FIOM, the Dutch Association for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG) and the Dutch Association of Abortion Doctors (NGvA), was invited by Vulva. The MPs ask the minister whether this means that AVA and its partners also support the message of ‘Kill the baby’.

And because Vpro website 3for12 published a piece about Vulva, the two MPs also want to know whether there are limits for public media to report on “violent and offensive artistic expressions”.

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