This Thursday, May 25, users of the Parisian Vélib’, the city’s self-service bicycles, noticed that anti-abortion stickers had been stuck on them. A display denounced by several elected government officials.
“What if you had let him live?” Parisian Vélib’ subscribers were surprised to discover an anti-abortion sticker on many bicycles on Thursday morning. A wild display immediately denounced by elected Parisians and the government.
An anti-abortion collective at the origin of the sticker
Colours, font, design… on this sticker, the graphic charter of the Vélib’ seems totally compliant. And under the question asked, a fetus grows, becomes a baby and then a child capable of pedaling.
“You who take this Vélib’, don’t you remember all those times when, like a child learning to ride a bike, you dared to go on an adventure?”, explains the collective Les Survivants on its website, which claims the operation in a press release posted on Wednesday. Presenting themselves as “young people in revolt in the face of the suffering and injustice caused by abortion”, Les Survivors say they are acting on behalf of the “220,000 children killed each year in France”.
A “shame for our Republic”
Many Parisian elected officials and the government reacted to this controversy. The Survivors are “badly named”, reacted on Twitter the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, denouncing a “shame for our Republic, for Paris and its values”
Unacceptable and illegal! The anti-abortion collage claimed by the misnamed “Survivors” is a shame for our Republic, for Paris and its values. I will take all measures to ensure that this does not happen again. pic.twitter.com/TDX2QGfCWs
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 25, 2023
“This degradation is de facto an attack on women’s freedom,” added his health assistant, Anne Souyris, to AFP.
“A significant number” of Vélib’ identified
“Under no circumstances has this poster campaign on the mudguards been authorized”, reacted the union which oversees Vélib’, the SAVM, announcing a legal response and encouraging users “to remove the stickers”.
“A significant number” of Vélib’ have been identified in this way, mobility assistant David Belliard told AFP. According to the president of the SAVM Sylvain Raifaud, a third of the bikes received these stickers in a sector of the capital.
The government reacts
Several members of the government also reacted on social networks, the Minister responsible for Equality between women and men, Isabelle Rome, denouncing an “unacceptable” anti-abortion “campaign”.
“Faced with the reactionaries, the government and the majority will always be at the side of women to guarantee the freedom of choice,” declared the Minister of Health, François Braun.
At the beginning of March, President Emmanuel Macron announced his desire to include in the Constitution the “freedom” to have recourse to abortion as part of a bill on a vast reform of institutions.
“Since February 1, the two chambers of Parliament have given their approval to such a reform. The ball is now in the court of the executive,” said PS Senator Laurence Rossignol in a press release, asking the head of the State of “stop procrastinating”.