- Jul 13, 2016
Seeing that people are literally dying on the streets protesting this, I'm going to go with no.Which brings me back to the point of intent, is such a law to the benefit of Indonesian society in general (Westerners) excluded, what would be the negatives? Do Indonesians, in general, agree with it?
To be fair, the main issue of the protest is bad governance. This manifests in bad laws, preventable man-made disasters, ethnic unrest, etc. All of them culminating fairly recently.
As all parties unanimously support the passage of bad laws, people feel that they do not have representation in government. The only available avenue is to take their grievances directly to the streets.
Let's examine a specific part of RUU KUHP (Criminal Code), one of the laws being protested. Namely abortion. Now for sure, abortion in general will remain illegal in Indonesia. This will not change in my generation, and probably not in my children's generation.
But the law makes an exception for victims of rape, incest and in case of medical emergency. However, as drafted, only the doctor performing the abortion is exempted from punishment, not the mother. (Art 469 - 471). Now, I don't believe the intent is to punish the mother in this case, but this is the situation as written. This is the kind of bad law writing that is all over this draft.
Further, there are two other laws governing abortion, namely UU Kesehatan (Health Law), and in case of a minor UU Perlindungan Anak (Child Protection Law). Neither one is invalidated by the KUHP, so have fun with that. Again, bad law writing.
In those laws, abortion is permitted before a pregnancy is 40 days old, provided that they can prove rape or trauma or medical emergency. Now because these laws were drafted mostly by a bunch of men, they obviously don't understand that by the time one realizes that one is pregnant, usually the pregnancy is already at least 28 days old. That is if the woman has a regular cycle and immediately realizes they are late. Most do not and realize much later. That leaves you with less than 12 days to make a police report, get counselling and arrange an abortion. Maybe doable if you are wealthy and live in a major city, but definitely out of reach for the majority of Indonesian women. Absolutely impossible if it were a minor. Never mind the mental anguish and deliberation that must take place also.
Nor is this just an academic exercise. In 2018, a 15-year old girl who was raped by her older brother and became pregnant, was sentenced to 6 months in jail because she aborted the fetus past the 40 days deadline.