How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground

How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground
A year ago, mass protests in Poland defeated a new abortion ban. But the ruling party, supported by the church, continues to cut reproductive rights – leaving people at the mercy of the black market.

By Alex Cocotas
Thursday 30 November 2017

Barbara Nowacka first had an inkling that something exceptional was happening on the morning of the protests. It was October 2016, and a journalist she knew, a conservative, called to ask how it was looking. She told him she had no idea what was going to happen. The journalist told her that his two daughters had gone to school that morning dressed in black. Perhaps, Nowacka thought, this could be big.

A ban on abortion in Poland had been put forward in parliament six months earlier, and Nowacka, a leftwing politician and long-time social activist, was a leading figure in the movement to oppose it. Nationwide protests had been scheduled for 3 October, but like most people, she had little hope that they would succeed. Perhaps they would get a nice crowd, a little media coverage; but it would ultimately be a gesture. The law would pass.

continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/30/how-polands-far-right-government-is-pushing-abortion-underground

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Protesters Decry Poland’s Proposed Near-Total Ban on Abortion

Published on Monday, September 26, 2016
by Common Dreams

Poland's right-wing parliament moved forward with legislation that would sentence women and doctors to years in prison for terminating a pregnancy

by Nika Knight, staff writer

Poland's ruling right-wing party on Friday pushed forward with a nearly complete ban on abortion, and women around the country and in cities across Europe rose up this weekend to condemn the legislation.

The new anti-abortion bill "proposes to permit abortion only if the pregnancy threatens the mother's life," according to the Telegraph, forcing victims of rape or incest to carry those pregnancies to term. "Women who have terminations could be jailed for between three months and five years, while practitioners of illegal abortions could also face five-year sentences, up from two years at present," the newspaper adds.

And because doctors are threatened with prison sentences for performing abortions, they will be reluctant to perform abortions even when the mother's life is indeed threatened, as a doctor argued before parliament earlier this year: "If I have a 32-week pregnant patient with pre-eclampsia, I have to wait for her and her child to start dying before I can take action," explained Professor Romuald Dębski, who is quoted by Amnesty International.

"If there is an ectopic pregnancy and bleeding, I can perform a termination. But if there is no bleeding—no immediate risk to life—I have to wait until she starts dying," Dębski said.

[continued at link]
Source: Common Dreams

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