Finland’s Interior Minister sparked uproar in Finland in July by sharply criticizing the country’s liberal abortion laws. In a speech to a Lutheran missions gathering in Kankaanpää in southwestern Finland, Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen lamented that animals have more protection in Finland than unborn human babies.
In her speech she highlighted the fact that Finland and Sweden are the only two western European countries that do not allow health care workers the right to refuse to participate in an abortion. Dr. Rasanen also noted that Finnish law provides that animals must be slaughtered painlessly, but unborn human beings have no protections from the excruciating pain of an abortion.
Citing Acts 5:29, she also noted that one may face situations “… where we must weigh our actions, whether we are ready to go against public opinion, peer pressure and even law if these contradict the Word of God.” The archbishop and two bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (CoF) wasted no time in declaring that she does not speak for that Church.
In a July 12 letter to the Finnish paper HBL (Huvudstadsbladet), Räsänen clarified her position, writing, “In my own case, as a doctor, I have had to consider the relationship between abortion law and my own convictions. However, one can avoid performing an abortion, and, with this the closure of a small human life, by resigning from his post.”
“Nor,” Räsänen continued, “… have I called for breaking the law, but instead sought to bring about a change in the law which would allow a conscience protection for health care professionals so that they would not be forced to abort a pregnancy.”
Following her groundbreaking speech, which brought severe criticism from many of her colleagues, the Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO)Scott Fischbach recently met with Dr. Rasanen in the Finnish Parliament House. The two leaders discussed abortion in Finland and Minnesota as well as fetal pain and the detrimental effects of abortion on women’s health.
In a statement issued following the meeting Fischbach said.
“It is a real honor to meet with the Interior Minister of Finland today. Her courage to speak out for the unborn from the highest levels of government is very noble. Igniting a national conversation about abortion and keeping the human rights cause of life in front of the people is a tremendous victory!”
According to an MCCL GO statement nearly a quarter of all Minnesotans can trace Finnish ancestry in their heritage and 23 percent are Lutherans in faith.