The individual right to self-determination is an important right that must be protected and respected at all times. You have the right to be well informed about matters relating to your life and body and to make your own informed choices on that basis. This also means that you have the right to dress the way you want, the right to love whom you want, and the right to express yourself the way you want and believe in what you want. The right to self-determination is a great asset, from birth to death. It means that you can decide for yourself what you do with your body, which medical or psychological treatments you do or do not want to undergo. Of course, the right to self-determination is subject to limits, namely where your right violates the same right of others.
The right to self-determination is more endangered in some people than in others. In the Netherlands, the right to self-determination is currently at risk or even limited in the following cases:
- Muslim women (13) are imposed what they may or may not wear (by means of the Partial Prohibition Facial Covering Clothing);
- People having an abortion (14) are regularly threatened at the entrance to the abortion clinic;
- The identity of non-binary persons is not officially recognised in the Netherlands;
- There is little legal space for non-traditional families, for example for people raising a child with more than two people, or for someone who wants to leave his legacy to their best friend;
- People who suffer unbearable psychological suffering have too few rights to end their lives with dignity and self-determination;
- People without uterus still decide to a large extent about the rights of people with uterus.
BIJ1 supports the intersectional feminist movement which wants to guarantee the right to self-determination for all. That is why BIJ1 proposes the following policy changes.
ACCESSIBLE CONTRACEPTION AND ABORTION
- There will be full reimbursement for contraception.
- The taboo surrounding abortion will be actively combated: abortion will be removed from the Penal Code. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will launch a campaign to make abortion a subject for discussion.
- The government will stop subsidising organisations that do not offer independent help to unwanted pregnant people.
- The 5-day cooling-off period for an abortion will be abolished.
- Experience experts will be actively involved in the development of policy on abortion care.
- Abortion care will fall under regular care; abortion wards will be set up in midwife practices and other medical centres. Both midwives and general practitioners must be able to prescribe the abortion pill and actively collaborate with abortion doctors in this respect.
PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND ADOPTION
- Fertility treatments such as IVF must be reimbursed. The number of treatments reimbursed must be expanded on the basis of opportunities, not costs. This also applies to LHBTQI+ couples.
- People who are pregnant and are about to give birth will always have the right to make their own decisions about what happens to their bodies. There will no longer be any enforced care, and there will be respect for autonomy and control before, during and after childbirth.
- People adopted as children will have the right to know the facts of their ancestry. In the case of domestic adoptions, this means that the parentage data must not be deleted from the archives. In the case of foreign adoptions, this means that the government must have checked that the biological parents have agreed to the adoption. Data such as parentage facts, date of birth, place of birth, original name, names of parents and family must be available on request.
GENDER DEVELOPMENT AND GENDER (NON-STANDARD)
- Legislation will be put in place to stop medical intervention in (non-life-threatening) non-standard gender development of intersex children. The care seeker will be entitled to advice and support from experts in the field of gender variation.
- A gender change is allowed to be made without assessment and as often as necessary.
- Eventually, gender registration will be abolished in the BRP (Basic Registration of Persons) and until then, filling in ‘X’ (unknown, irrelevant) will become a possibility on identity documents and travel documents.
- Non-binary people are allowed to change their first name free of charge in the municipal personal records database.
DIFFERENT FORMS OF FAMILY
- Dutch law is based on ‘traditional’ families. Not enough account is taken of the more diverse forms of families, such as composite families, people raising a child with more than two people, and unmarried but cohabiting people. This has to change. There will be a law for multiple parenthood. The current law on marriage and cohabitation will be adapted in such a way as to offer equal social and financial rights to all families, cohabitants and cohabitants (as is the case in inheritance law).
UNBEARABLE SUFFERING AND EUTHANASIA
- People who experience their lives as completed should be free to make an informed and voluntary choice to end their lives with dignity. Euthanasia is taken out of the Penal Code. Doctors will only become punishable if they do not abide by the rules in euthanasia.
- Doctors who refuse to assess a request for euthanasia will be obliged to refer patients to a doctor who is prepared to do so.
- Euthanasia will also be made available to children under the age of twelve.
- There will be greater awareness of intolerable psychological suffering, and it will be easier to record in wills the conditions under which a person no longer wants to live, so that patients with dementia can also be better helped with a self-selected end.
- There will be examined whether there are specific cases where assistance in suicide is not punishable, such as helping a loved one with a lasting desire to commit suicide.
SELF-DETERMINATION OF RELIGIOUS EXPRESSIONS
- All forms of religious education, schools and places of worship will be protected according to the same criteria.
- The government will guarantee the right to self-determination of Muslim women. The partial ban on facial clothing (popularly known as ‘the niqab ban’) must be lifted immediately. The ban on wearing a headscarf for judges and court clerks will also be lifted.
- The Netherlands will promote legislation at European level to ensure that employers in the Netherlands cannot refuse to employ someone wearing a headscarf, kippah or other religious attributes.
- There will be more freedom of choice in taking days off on the basis of religious conviction.
- There will be more cemeteries for eternal burial.