Poland’s conservatives are pushing one of Europe’s toughest abortion laws

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Poland’s conservatives are pushing one of Europe’s toughest abortion laws
The bill would force women to give birth even in cases of severe birth defects

Apr 5th 2018
WARSAW

AT 13 weeks of pregnancy, Marta, a young woman in Warsaw, learned that her baby had Down’s syndrome and life-threatening defects. After a procedural obstacle course (including a visit to a psychiatrist), she was allowed to undergo a legal abortion, one of just 1,000 or so in Poland every year. Poland has some of Europe’s tightest restrictions on abortion, allowing it only when the mother’s life is at risk, or in cases of rape or severe prenatal defects. Many women turn to illegal abortions or go abroad, often to Germany.

Now the restrictions could get even tighter. Legislation proposed by a pro-life organisation, backed by the Catholic church, would ban abortion even for severe prenatal defects. The Polish parliament’s committee for human rights gave the bill the go-ahead last month, although the Council of Europe and UN experts have urged lawmakers to reject it.

Continued: https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21739996-bill-would-force-women-give-birth-even-cases-severe-birth-defects-polands

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Poland’s abortion ban is a test case for the Catholic Church

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Poland’s abortion ban is a test case for the Catholic Church
Religious conservatives across Europe will be watching the outcome closely

Agnieszka Graff
April 2, 2018

The crowd was an estimated 55,000 strong — most of the protesters were dressed in black, most of them were young women. They marched through central Warsaw on March 23 to protest against the parliament’s decision to proceed with an almost total ban on abortion.

It had all happened before, in October 2016 — one of this protest’s hashtags was #dejavue. But this time it felt different: angrier, darker, more politically radical, and openly aimed at the Catholic Church. The protests testify not just to the power of the Polish women’s movement, but to a profound change in attitudes. This time it is not just abortion rights that are at issue. Polish women have seen the broader picture.

Continued: https://www.ft.com/content/d3d92b9e-3348-11e8-b5bf-23cb17fd1498

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Poland – Great mobilization on #BlackFriday

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Great mobilization on #BlackFriday
March 24, 2018

March 23 is yet another historic moment in the Polish history. Renewed attempt to ban abortion in case of foetal impairment have brought almost 90 000 people to the streets of Warsaw, not to mention other 23 cities in Poland and 13 abroad. How did it start?

On the March, 14 the Polish Episcopal Conference appealed for the “Stop abortion” bill to be proceeded. A day later, the Head of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights announced that the opinion on the draft law will be issued on the next Monday (19.03). This illustrates the enormous power of the Church and the strong resistance of the politicians to put human rights over their own interests in the light of the upcoming elections in 2018 (local) and 2019 (national).

Continued: http://en.federa.org.pl/great-mobilization-on-blackfriday/

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Polish Women Protest Proposed Abortion Ban (Again)

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Polish Women Protest Proposed Abortion Ban (Again)

By MARC SANTORA and JOANNA BERENDT
MARCH 23, 2018

WARSAW — To Magda, giving birth would have meant inflicting a slow death. Her unborn child had a rare genetic syndrome that causes severe, fatal birth defects.

“I would feed it, hug it, love it, get attached to it, and then, when it would be 3 or 4 months old, it would suffocate while in my arms,” she recalled, explaining her decision a decade ago to have an abortion. “It would scar me for life. I don’t know if I would be capable of giving birth to another child and not look at it as if it were the one that had died in my arms.”

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/world/europe/poland-abortion-women-protest.html

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Poland abortion: Protests against bill imposing new limits

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Poland abortion: Protests against bill imposing new limits

March 23, 2018

Thousands of people have taken to streets across Poland against plans to further tighten the abortion laws, already among Europe's strictest.

A bill in parliament seeks to ban abortions in cases of foetal abnormality - one of the few exceptions allowed under the current law.

Continued: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43514965

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Mass protests in Poland against tightening of abortion law

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Mass protests in Poland against tightening of abortion law
Thousands join demonstrations against government’s new effort to restrict access

Staff and agencies in Warsaw
Fri 23 Mar 2018

Thousands of people have joined protests in Warsaw and other Polish cities against the latest attempt by the conservative government to restrict access to abortion.

In Warsaw on Friday, people held banners that read “Free choice” and “A woman is a human being”, and chanted slogans demanding reproductive freedom.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/23/abortion-poland-mass-protests-against-tightening-of-law

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Thousands join ‘Black Friday’ marches against Polish abortion restrictions

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Thousands join 'Black Friday' marches against Polish abortion restrictions

March 23, 2018
Anna Koper, Marcin Goettig

WARSAW (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Poles dressed in black protested across the country on Friday against an attempt by the ruling conservatives and the powerful Catholic Church to ban most abortions.

The “Stop Abortion” draft bill, opposed by numerous rights groups, would remove the main legal recourse Polish women have for getting a termination in a country that already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the European Union.

Continued: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-abortion/thousands-join-black-friday-marches-against-polish-abortion-restrictions-idUSKBN1GZ2LP

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Poland: Reject Bill to Further Limit Abortion Rights

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Poland: Reject Bill to Further Limit Abortion Rights
Proposed Bill Continues Roll Back on Reproductive Rights

March 22, 2018

(Warsaw) – Poland’s Parliament should listen to the voices of women across Poland and reject a regressive legislative proposal that would erode reproductive rights, more than 200 human and women’s rights groups from across the globe said in a statement issued today.

The Parliament is debating a draft bill entitled “Stop Abortion.” If adopted, this legislation will severely limit the already restricted grounds on which women can lawfully access abortion in Poland. It will place women’s health and lives at risk and violate Poland’s international human rights obligations, the groups said.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/03/22/poland-reject-bill-further-limit-abortion-rights

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UN statement: Poland must not further restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights

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POLAND – UN WORKING GROUP STATEMENT: Poland must not further restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights, say UN experts
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion

Geneva (22 March 2018) – A group of United Nations human rights experts has called on the Polish parliament to reject a new draft bill entitled “Stop Abortion” which will be debated this week and which risks causing serious damage to women’s health and lives, and violating Poland’s international human rights obligations.

The United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice has called on the Polish Parliament to reject a draft bill up for consideration this week that would ban abortion in situations where there is a severe fetal anomaly, one of only three legal grounds for termination of pregnancy available in a country that already has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/poland-un-working-group-statement-poland-must-not-further-restrict-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-say-un-experts/

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Women in Poland protest plans to tighten anti-abortion law

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Women in Poland protest plans to tighten anti-abortion law

The Associated Press
March 18, 2018

WARSAW, Poland — Women across Poland are protesting in front of bishops’ residences after the influential Roman Catholic Church urged the government to ban abortion.

In Warsaw, 400 protesters gathered Sunday before the archbishop’s seat with wire clothes hangers, a symbol of illegal abortions. They chanted “Nothing about us without us!” and “Save the women!”

Continued: http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/women-in-poland-protest-plans-to-tighten-anti-abortion-law

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