It was an eventful time at the end of the 1960s – in Europe and all over the Western world. While the younger generation in the United States took to the streets primarily against the Vietnam War, in Germany students revolted against the stench of 1,000 years on campuses and against the old Nazis, who were often still in points of power. What the hell are you doing here? We want to live differently – this was the crucial thought that has inspired many. Centa Berger was born in Austria and suffers from this disorder on both continents. “The changes in society did not happen overnight,” she says. “This has a lot to do with the new beginnings of the 1960s, when my generation posed expected questions and answers.”
Actress Cinta Berger’s abortion campaigns
Cinta Berger and her husband, Paul Verhoeven, in the 1970s
As a desirable actress, Cinta Berger produces films in the United States, in Romanian cinema and in France – which once again became the motherland of the revolution: “We received a lot of things from France in the 1960s. So not the new German film born directly from the French, not Not only the student revolution, it also came from France. But this effort also. It was an attempt to deepen the double standards in my country. “
The double standards that Cinta Berger talks about are also embodied in the legendary Section 218 of the Penal Code. A law over a hundred years old can punish women with up to three years in prison for an abortion. The Catholic Church, still very influential, called for the continued existence of Paragraph 218. “We women of my generation were outraged by the unbelievable lack of confidence in showing women to us. And I also said publicly at the time: Behind every abortion – which every woman finds Tough enough – there is a man… and that is still the case today. ”“ I would like these men to show solidarity with us, ”the actress says.
“If there is an indictment, we all want to go there.”
In the summer of 1971, the Stern cover story shook the Federal Republic. “We have a miscarriage!” – A confession from 374 notable and totally ordinary women. You condemn yourself loudly and publicly of committing a crime. In addition to Romy Schneider and Lis Verhoeven, Senta Berger also appears on the front page. The campaign launched by Alice Schwarzer calls for the cancellation of Paragraph 218. “The fact that the first page of the star is stunningly decorated makes sense for sure. Then there was also a second edition in which many women who wish to remain anonymous and are actually unidentified announced this Sentence to the public. Because we said it is not something we want to introduce ourselves to personally right now. But we all want to show our solidarity and if there is indeed an indictment, then we all want to go there. “
The sisters do it for themselves: Solidarity was still the same in 1971 and without any hashtags – but just as good! Cinta Berger and all the unknown fighters and heroines got a ball rolling – with the ‘working-class heroines’ realizing: “A solution must be found that is not determined by classes, and not by the wealth of one family, that is, a woman. Daughter, the girl is sent to the Netherlands, where abortion is legal. This costs money. We also know stories from doctors in Germany who were naturally prepared to have abortions. Against the money. We found that insulting. “
The struggle for information, education and the possibility of abortion
Cinta Berger and her son Simon, soon after he was born in 1972
The criminalization of abortion forced many women to perform abortions on their own. With cutlery that is sharp and often has dire consequences – some have not survived the ordeal. Cinta Berger and her colleagues agreed: Something needs to change here ASAP! “At the time, we agreed that it was related to advice,” says Cinta Berger. It is not the case that one enters such a situation easily. And at that point, it was the time the birth control pill came out. “We worked to ensure there was education, information, and the possibility of abortion. Because we knew that when the information and clarifications took hold, the other would not be necessary. And this is what happens.”
A few years after the star published the cover story, some of the women participating admitted that they actually hadn’t had any abortions at all – including Alice Schwarzer herself. It was thanks only to the great solidarity of women that the first came in the year of subsequent amendments to Paragraph 218 until it was finally repealed in 1993. Triumph still makes Cinta Berger a bit proud and puts a satisfied smile on her face when she thinks about it: “It is clear that Women’s self-esteem has changed and strengthened over the years, and the position of women in society!