Yesterday, in Quezon City, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte strongly criticised Iceland’s policy regarding pregnancy termination.
Switching to English in the middle of his speech for the Iceland comment, presumably to be understood internationally, Duterte said, “Do you know what? Iceland allows an abortion up to six months. Iceland allows the slaughter of fetuses in the womb for up to six months.”
Duerte is referencing legislation Iceland’s Parliament passed this past May that allows, upon the pregnant person’s request, the termination of a pregnancy up to the last day of the 22nd week.
Duterte’s criticism of Iceland this year has been ongoing, and he has attracted international attention since coming into office in 2016. He has stirred controversy on a number of issues, including calling God “stupid” and the Pope a “son of a whore”, as well as confessing to multiple murders and sexual assaults to the press. However, most notoriously he has been under global scrutiny for the bloodshed he has endorsed in response to the country’s drug epidemic. He has voiced his support of the killings of drug traffickers and users that have claimed thousands of lives since he has taken office; an estimated 5,600 deaths in his first 6 months alone, although he has denied any personal involvement with the vigilantes themselves.
This incited the United Nations Human Rights Commission to urge the Philippines to launch murder investigations regarding Duterte’s war on drugs along with his claims to the press of personally killing three people when he formerly served as mayor of Davao. Duerte has repeatedly lashed out at Iceland in all of this, as Iceland was the initiator of the UN resolution to condemn him for his war on drugs.
“Iceland, what is Iceland’s problem?,” he said last July. “Just ice. That’s your problem. You have too much ice and there is no clear day or night there. So you can understand why there is no crime. There is no policeman either… These idiots, they don’t understand the social, economic, political problems of the Philippines.” He warned Iceland to stay out of his affairs and let him handle his own country, straining diplomatic ties ever since.
Duerte stated in his speech again yesterday, “They tell me how to do my job. I feel sorry for you, this is why you are condemned to be frozen forever. I hope you freeze to hell”.
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