Poland's election features a confident right-wing ruling party despite abortion, LGBT debates
Political opposition is fractured, while strong church influence dominates campaign
Sarah Lawrynuik · CBC News
Posted: Oct 06, 2019
Poles will cast their ballots in the national parliamentary election next Sunday, and the world is watching to see if they will deliver another decisive victory for the populist, right-wing Law and Justice Party.
Law and Justice formed Poland's first outright majority government in 2015 since the fall of communism. In the ensuing years, Poland has been seen to be following in the political footsteps of fellow-EU member state Hungary, in a turn toward conservative policies, control of the media and breaking down some of the country's checks and balances on power.
Poland has some of the strictest abortion laws. This German NGO has a solution
Group members offer up their couches, help with translating and accompany the women to hospital, writes Dylan Brethour
Sep 8, 2019
Across the globe, the rise of right-wing parties has stirred up the fight over abortion.
In Poland, which has some of the most restrictive laws in Europe, women can only get an abortion in cases of rape or incest, when the pregnancy poses a serious threat to a woman’s health, or when there is a severe foetal abnormality.
The Last Places in Europe Where It’s Illegal to Get an Abortion
European microstates are some of the richest countries on the continent, but human rights, including abortion, are curtailed.
by Sarah Souli; illustrated by Cathryn Virginia
Aug 19 2019
Lara hadn’t wanted to see the baby.
It wasn’t supposed to be hers, anyway; when she accidentally got pregnant at 18, she had decided the child would be raised by her aunt while she went off to university. The first few months of the pregnancy were normal: doctor’s visits, ultrasounds, the abrupt abandonment of cigarettes and beer. Then, around five months into her gestation, the pain and bleeding started. At the emergency room, a surprising diagnostic—fatally missed by her primary gynecologist—was announced. The baby was lacking two nerve bundles in its neck. A few days later, a second test with Lara’s gynecologist revealed a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The baby, doctors briskly explained to Lara, would be born “a vegetable.”
Why are more women from Poland and Croatia seeking pregnancy terminations abroad? (Photo: EU Scream)
By EU Scream
BRUSSELS, July 21, 2019
33-minute podcast on the topic of abortion under attack: "Why are more women from Poland and Croatia seeking pregnancy terminations abroad?" Discusses refusal to treat under “conscientious objection”, the anti-choice movement, how the LGBT community faces the same enemy as the pro-choice movement, also Romania.
The Abortion Exodus - more Poles and Croats going abroad
By Michael Bird, Lina Vdovii and Blaz Zgaga
BRUSSELS, 16. Jul, 2019
"The fact that I had to terminate the second pregnancy was terribly sad," said Warsaw-based Anna, now 39.
She was in her tenth week, and her doctors advised her to take a test to check for chromosomal abnormality, which discovered Down's Syndrome.
The female game designers fighting back on abortion rights
Through video games, live-action role-playing games and interactive documentaries, developers are challenging the conversation around reproductive rights
Fri 28 Jun 2019
The year is 1972. You’re part of an underground network of feminists in Chicago that provide illegal (at the time) abortion services to vulnerable, pregnant people with few options. Despite the risk of imprisonment, and the ways that your personal experiences may not always perfectly align with your activism, you persist.
It’s emotionally complicated. It’s politically fraught. It’s a live-action roleplaying game by Jon Cole and Kelley Vanda called The Abortionists, which requires three players, one facilitator, six hours and a willingness to dig deep into the painful history of reproductive rights in the United States. That history has terrifying relevance in 2019, as numerous states pass laws that put their residents in a reality where abortion is functionally illegal. Based on the real-life work of a 1970s activist group called Jane, it challenges its participants to think about the “internal landscapes” of its players, and how they deal with the larger political and personal landscape of their world.
HUNGARY – Birthrate, family and country: Viktor Orban wants women back in the home
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Apr 30, 2019
When it comes to power, what does the far right do to women? In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s racist, nationalist, extremist discourse goes hand in hand with the desire to keep women pregnant. In Poland, where the ultra-conservative Law and Justice party has been in power since 2015, the government is tirelessly trying, with the support of the Catholic Church, to prevent women from having access to abortion and contraception. “In these two countries, the role of women as individuals is slowly disappearing from public policies and being replaced by ‘the family’,” warns Andrea Pető, professor at the Central European University of Budapest.
“The Hungarian government is using two topics to campaign: its anti-immigration stance and the family,” says Dóra Papp, an activist and director of the petitions platform of aHang (The Voice). Last year, the government declared that 2018 would be the “year of families”.
Fighting drastic anti-choice banners. Case study: Poland
Mar 5, 2019 (but undated)
The anti-choice organizations in Poland are becoming more and more visible in the public sphere with their drastic images which instrumentalize dismembered fetuses to distort the truth about abortion. The Right to Life Foundation has been presenting its manipulative exhibition since 2005, but it was not until the elections in 2015 that they could extend its scope of action. The Right to Life Foundation and The Life and Family Foundation were given a green light by the authorities to misinform the public debate, and to frighten vulnerable persons. Bloody posters, trucks and billboards commonly pop up in front of hospitals, schools and kindergartens in many cities and towns all over Poland.
The Federation for Women and Family Planning has taken the following countermeasures:
Poland Is Trying to Make Abortion Dangerous, Illegal, and Impossible.
Ireland voted to liberalize abortion laws. The far-right government in Warsaw is moving in the opposite direction.
By Madeline Roache
January 8, 2019
Everyone knows someone who has had an abortion in Poland. But most of it happens underground.
Under Poland’s draconian abortion law—one of the strictest in the European Union—terminations are permitted only if there is a threat to the mother’s life, if there is a fetal abnormality, or when pregnancy has resulted from rape or incest.
POLAND – The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights
Nov 9, 2018
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
All downhill from here. The rapid degradation of the rule of law in Poland: what it means for women’s sexual and reproductive rights, and LGBT+ persons’ rights
by International Federation for Human Rights, November 2018
This report is the result of several months of desk-based research, combined with an international fact-finding mission conducted by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in Poland, on LGBT+ persons and women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the context of the degradation of the rule of law these past three years. FIDH was able to conduct approximately 20 interviews, all in Warsaw, of a wide range of actors: civil society organisations, members of the Polish government, members of the Parliament, the office of the Prosecutor, the office of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights, associations of professionals – lawyers, doctors, teachers – and national experts.