christian_fiala_04.jpg "As men, we are fundamentally dependent on the health and survival of women around us — mother sister, partner, daughter etc. We should therefore argue for conditions which permit women, who have after all become pregnant through our actions, to end an unwanted pregnancy in the best possible way and without unnecessary suffering."
The medical director of the Gynmed Clinic in Vienna has specialized in abortion care for about 10 years. The terminology and language in the public debate are extremely important to him, because “we should not judge or criticise women with an unwanted pregnancy.“ Spreading this insight has become his mission.
"It’s very simple. With every abortion I save a woman’s life. Obviously an ovum and a sperm are already alive. But not ‘a life.’Terms are misused in the public debate and especially by people with a religious background. An embryo is an embryo and a child is a child. Similarly, no one would call a child a ‘young old person.’ In the same way an embryo is not a child.“
Born in 1959 in the south of Germany in Stuttgart, Fiala studied medicine at the University of Innsbruck. During his studies, he published a leaflet about contraception but without the help of an editor „because contraception and abortion was taboo even in medschool.“
He decided to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology during his GP residency. In 1995, he worked in a hospital in France, where he saw medical abortion for the first time and learned how to do it. Fiala completed his residency and worked all over the world, including Thailand, Sweden, and Africa. „My work in Asia and Africa, where abortion is illegal, touched me profoundly. It was a daily routine there to witness women suffering and dying miserably from illegal abortions. The circumstances and consequences of illegal abortion are beyond imagination. Probably the term 'war against women' comes closest to reality.”
Today Fiala travels all over the world giving presentations as well as publishing numerous articles on the subject. He is president of the International Federation of Professional Abortion and Contraception Associates (FIAPAC) and member of several other associations in the field. In 2005, he finished a PhD at the renowned University Hospital Karolinska in Stockholm with a dissertation on 'Improving medical abortion'. A PhD is an additional scientific qualification for a medical doctor.
His latest achievement is a Museum on Contraception and Abortion located in Vienna, www.muvs.org. A truly exceptional museum, unique in the world. It shows and explains in 4 rooms how humanity gained control over fertility in a long and desperate struggle. In white and rose well-organised display cases done in the style of the 1970s, you can learn everything about contraception, pregnancy tests, and abortion – from the first condom made from animal membranes to the first anti-baby pill „Enovid,“ as well as all kinds of IUDs (loops), some in very strange forms. Also on view are instruments for vaginal douching called 'irrigators' and a lipstick that claims to replace the pill. You can also find knitting needles and spokes from bicycles, which were used to induce an abortion up until the 1960s because no better instruments were available.
„I would like to ensure that the terrible past does not repeat itself. Deaths from abortion are not a natural catastrophe but the logical consequence of political ignorance“, says Fiala.
Excerpt from the monthly 'Datum' published in August 2006. The original is in German and can be found here: datum_06_08.pdf