How women’s rights have still been hit despite abortion ban climbdown in Poland

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How women’s rights have still been hit despite abortion ban climbdown in Poland
By Chris Harris
Oct 17, 2017

Poland may have kicked a near-total abortion ban into the long grass but women’s sexual and reproductive rights have taken a hit in the last year, campaigners have told Euronews.

Around 100,000 people hit the streets on October 3 last year to protest against moves to outlaw all cases of women terminating their pregnancies.

The civil disobedience – called the Black Protest – forced the government to abandon the proposals

But activists claim women’s rights have still been hit over the last year as the government introduced more subtle changes to discourage abortion.

Continued at source: http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/17/how-women-s-rights-have-still-been-hit-despite-abortion-ban-climbdown-in-poland

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Polish police raid offices of feminist activists after abortion protests

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Polish police raid offices of feminist activists after abortion protests

'They are afraid of women's protest and want to find out all possible methods to devalue the Polish women's solidarity grassroot solidarity movement,' says leading campaigner

Maya Oppenheim
Oct 7, 2017

Women’s rights groups in Poland have had their documents and computers seized in police raids which took place a day after thousands of activists marched against the country’s restrictive abortion law.

The Women’s Rights Centre, which works on a range of women's issues, and Baba, which helps domestic violence victims, had their offices in the cities of Warsaw, Lodz, Gdansk, and Zielona Gora invaded by police.

Continued at source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/poland-abortion-police-raids-a7987181.html

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Europe: Why we’re marching for reproductive rights

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Why we’re marching for reproductive rights
28 September 2017

Today, on the International Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, Friends of the Earth activists are taking to the streets in Brussels to demand women’s rights and bodily autonomy and the right to abortion for women across all European countries and around the world.

Sign the petition for reproductive rights in Europe

Abortion is still banned in Ireland and Malta, and highly restricted in Hungary and Poland. Elsewhere, even where access to abortion is legally guaranteed, it can still be denied in practice through the closure of abortion providers and funding cuts for expert staff. And in all countries the right to abortion is regularly threatened as right-wing reactionary politicians gain influence and use women’s rights as bargaining chips to win the support of conservative sectors of society.

Continued: Friends of the Earth Europe: http://www.foeeurope.org/women-rights-abortion-march-280917

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Why ‘resist & persist’ is the perfect theme this September 28th, and everyday

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Why ‘resist & persist’ is the perfect theme this September 28th, and everyday

09/28/2017
Musimbi Kanyoro, Contributor

In today’s world, women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including the right to safe, legal, and affordable abortion are being attacked and rolled back by those in positions of power.

In far too many places, abortion remains an unspoken word, loaded with archaic beliefs about female sexuality and gender, wrapped up with stigma, shame, and discrimination. Take the Mexico City Policy, or global gag rule, for instance: it perpetuates shame and rewards silence, as international health providers that even use the word ‘abortion’ in informing women of their options will lose their funding from the U.S. government.

Continued at source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-resist-persist-is-the-perfect-theme-this-september_us_59cd1400e4b095b7ae59d8f4

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Poland to protect unborn babies of drinking mothers?

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Poland to protect unborn babies of drinking mothers?
08.09.2017

To mark Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day, Poland's children's rights ombudsman has asked the president to consider legal protection for the unborn children of women who drink or take drugs during pregnancy.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a range of incurable physical and neurological problems that occur in the womb as the direct result of the mother drinking while pregnant.

Poland's children's rights ombudsman Marek Michalak wants to legally protect such children by having the courts send substance-abusing pregnant women to hospital for treatment.

A bill prepared by Michalak aims to protect both unborn babies and pregnant minors.

If passed, the law would isolate pregnant women for the protection of the fetus and offer medical care, therapy and education.

According to the State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems (PARPA), one percent of newborns suffer from being exposed to alcohol in the womb.

Around the world, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affects 3-9 in every 1,000 live births. (vb/pk)

Source: PAP
Source: Radio Poland: http://thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/324716,Poland-to-protect-unborn-babies-of-drinking-mothers

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Poland limits access to morning-after pill

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Poland limits access to morning-after pill

June 26, 2017
By Beata Stur

A new law in Poland restricts access to emergency contraception and will have a “catastrophic impact on rape survivors,” warned a leading human rights organisation.

Polish President Andrzej Duda on June 23 approved legislation that will end prescription-free access to the morning-after pill. The new law comes into effect next month.

“We consider it as another blow to women’s rights, and will affect teenagers and those in remote rural areas, and will have a particularly catastrophic impact on rape survivors,” said Draginja Nadazdin, director of Amnesty International in Poland, in a statement issued on June 25.

Continued at link: New Europe: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/poland-limits-access-morning-pill/

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Free electronic prescriptions for emergency contraceptives for Poland!

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Free electronic prescriptions for emergency contraceptives for Poland!

May 26, 2017

Yesterday, May 25 th, the Polish Government voted in favour of limiting access to all emergency contraception by requiring a doctor’s prescription. Emergency contraceptive is available over the counter in almost all European countries. In response to this violation of women’s rights, Women on Web will provide all women with free prescriptions from a European doctor from now on.

According to European regulations[1], pharmacies in any European country should fill the prescriptions from a European doctor. After you print the prescription, you can go to a polish pharmacy to get the morning after pills.

Women who need a prescription should fulfill a online consultation for morning after pill.

Continued at source: Women on Waves: https://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/6991/free-electronic-prescriptions-for-emergency-contraceptives-for-poland

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Polish Government limits access to emergency contraception

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Polish Government limits access to emergency contraception
May 26, 2017

On May 25th the Polish Government voted in favour of limiting access to emergency contraception violating women’s reproductive rights few months after the “Black Protest”.

The draft proposal was put forward by the ruling Law and Justice party and accepted for further works in February this year. Besides issues focusing on patient’s access to medicines it also aimed to make all contraception, including emergency contraception, available only on prescription from doctor.

242 Members of Parliament voted in favour of this ruling, including all representatives from the Law and Justice party who have a majority in the Parliament, 188 against and 9 abstained from voting. 21 did not attend the session.

Continued at source: Astra: http://www.astra.org.pl/repronews/505-polish-government-limits-access-to-emergency-contraception.html

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Polish parliament votes to limit access to morning after pill

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Polish parliament votes to limit access to morning after pill

The country has some of Europe’s most restrictive abortion regulations.

By Wojciech Kość
May 25, 2017

WARSAW — Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party pushed a controversial bill through the lower house of parliament, or Sejm, late Thursday that includes a provision to limit access to emergency contraception, such as the EllaOne pill.

The measure has been met with outrage from women’s rights organizations and the opposition.

The bill will now move on to the upper house, the Senate, after which PiS-friendly President Andrzej Duda is expected to give it a final sign-off. The procedural calendar suggests the draft law would take effect in August.

Continued at source: Politico: http://www.politico.eu/article/polish-parliament-votes-to-limit-access-to-emergency-contraception/

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The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice joins forces in Poland

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The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice joins forces in Poland
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
May 9, 2017

The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice, consisting of over 80 non-governmental organizations from all over Poland, has been established as a reaction to an offensive by anti-women groups. These threatening actions include regular draft bills directly attacking the life and health of women, restricting access to emergency contraception, frightening doctors in their workplaces, shocking anti-abortion campaigns, fighting against comprehensive sexuality education, as well as the systemic weakening of the protection of women against domestic violence. These actions call for active and organized resistance on the part of civil society.

We draw our strength from the 200 year old tradition of female political and civic activities. We have the knowledge and practical NGO experience, as well as the social energy of the pro-women’s rights protests of 2016 and 2017.

The Coalition’s goal is the comprehensive fight for women’s human rights: quick threat identification, coordination of legal activities, and building social awareness. The group demand sexuality education, good standards of perinatal care, the fullness of reproductive rights, and the total elimination of violence against women. In the coming weeks, we will shape the actions of the Coalition.

The current legal regulations on the termination of pregnancy do not work in practice. Almost every attempt to obtain a legal abortion encounters resistance from gynaecologists or hospitals directors. In 2015 the Constitutional Tribunal released doctors from the duty to refer the patient to another specialist who is able to perform the service. Now, entire public health care facilities, or even provinces, are entitled to claim “conscientious objection”. Desperate women head to foreign clinics, even when theoretically they have a right to a legal abortion in Poland. We will persist in trying to liberalize the law. We want 21st century Polish women to be able to have the same standards as other European women. Only ideology stands in the way.

The actions of anti-abortion activists penetrates deeper and deeper into the everyday lives of citizens. There is systematic pressure on hospitals performing abortions on medical grounds. The local authorities fail to react to anti-abortion propaganda in public spaces – for instance setting up large boards with photos of bloody remains of developed fetuses captioned “This is how children are being murdered in Polish hospitals”. Frequently, the image of Hitler is placed nearby, with a caption equating termination of pregnancy with the Holocaust, i.e. as the legacy of Nazism. Such campaigns are also openly directed at children. Dolls named “Little John” that are supposed to symbolize potential abortion victims are handed out in schools. Anti-abortion art competitions for children are also organized.

In hospitals, despite many complaints from women giving birth, there is no reaction to the so-called “defenders of life” visiting maternity wards. At the same time, standards of perinatal care are being disregarded, which in recent months has led to more deaths of women, reported as tragic accidents or medical errors. But that is not all. The lack of education and awareness in sexual health results in a rapid increase in sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, gonorrhoea, and until recently thought to have already been eliminated, syphilis. Furthermore, the typically female cancer screening programmes are being discontinued.

SOURCE: Federation for Women and Family Planning, 18 April 2017, in CEE Bulletin No.5 (164) 2017

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Source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/the-great-coalition-for-equality-and-choice-joins-forces-in-poland/

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