We condemn Poland’s strict legislation banning virtually all legal abortion.

A top court in Poland recently issued a ruling that bans virtually all legal abortion in the country, tightening what was already one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the EU. The ruling bans all abortion except in exceptional circumstances where the parent’s life or health is at risk, or where the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.

Nikola Naus - 03/11/2020 16:18

A top court in Poland recently issued a ruling that bans virtually all legal abortion in the country, tightening what was already one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the EU. The ruling bans all abortion except in exceptional circumstances where the parent’s life or health is at risk, or where the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.

It's important to clarify that previously, abortion in Poland was only allowed in three cases: if the mother's health is in danger, in case of incest or rape, and for fetal abnormalities. Thereby, the abortion law in Poland was already among the strictest in Europe.

On Thursday, the 22nd of October, the Polish Constitutional Court ruled that law allowing abortion of fetuses with congenital defects is incompatible with the Constitution. It's worth mentioning 98% of legal abortions last year resulted from these fetal abnormalities. In effect, new abortion law imposes almost a near-total ban on abortion in Poland.

After the government's decision, the biggest protests in decades have broken-out, where hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Poland. For these twelve days, Poles have been protesting not only for women's rights and legal abortion but also for sexual education, access to contraception, equality, funds for mental health, better support for people with disabilities and many others.

The situation in Poland is even worse than you can imagine. According to last year's statistics, Poland was the country with the worst access to contraception in Europe. The morning-after pill is available only on prescription and doctors can even refuse to prescribe one if this is 'against' their personal belives. There are "LGBT-free zones" which are regions of Poland that have declared themselves unwelcoming of an alleged "LGBT ideology", in order to e.g. ban equality marches. But what else can we expect from a country whose president has called the promotion of LGBT rights an "ideology" more destructive than communism, in a campaign speech?

I am a young Polish woman and I am embarrassed when I talk about my country. I am embarrassed because I know that talking about such things in the 21st century at the heart of Europe is just ridiculous. Unfortunately, this is my reality.

I'm tired of my openly homophobic government, their anti LGBTQ+ agenda, intolerance, violation of human rights and distortion of the truth in mass media every single day.

I'm tired of living in Poland, even though I love my country very much, I just can't stand some things anymore.

Women's Officer Ellie Gomersall said: “the ruling in Poland is a severe blow to human rights, completely stripping away body autonomy and removing the freedom of choice for anyone with an unwanted pregnancy. It’s important to remember that the removal of legal abortion is not the removal of all abortion – it is the removal of safe abortion. This ruling will endanger the lives of thousands of people who are forced to terminate their pregnancies in dangerous, unhygienic, unlawful ways. UWS Women condemn the Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling and stand in solidarity to the women of Poland.”

Please support Polish people, spread a word, go outside and march for human rights. Use the hashtags #pieklokobiet #strajkkobiet

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