Poland: Conformism, contempt & conceit – voting on abortion-related bills in the Polish Parliament

Conformism, contempt & conceit – voting on abortion-related bills in the Polish Parliament

10/01 will be remembered as another day when Polish women were betrayed by people who were given mandate to represent their citizens. Citizens and their legislative initiative. Polish MPs have rejected the “Save women” bill and referred to the committee the “Stop abortion” bill. We thought we hit rock bottom, then the anti-choice majority knocked from down below.

80 pro-choice organizations have appealed to the MPs for a fact-based, open-minded and genuine debate in the Parliament. They have provided fact-based arguments to encourage the lawmakers to support a bill that guarantees basic standards in education, conscious parenthood and reproductive health (more about the bill). To stand by women whose rights have been since 25 years neglected. 25 years of the highly restrictive law that is in practice even more repressive as it has restricted an access to legal abortion (more about the effects of the anti-abortion law).

Continued at source: http://en.federa.org.pl/voting-on-abortion-related-bills/

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Why Women in Poland Are Protesting Over Abortion

Including the protests that took place earlier this week.
Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy, Teen Vogue
Oct 27, 2016 4:26PM EDT

For the past month, thousands of women have been staging protests all across Poland in response to proposed additional restrictions to abortion access in the country, which already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws of all of Europe. Right now in Poland, abortion is illegal in all cases except those involving rape, incest, danger to the pregnant woman’s life, or severe fetal abnormalities, but the most recent proposed legislation would ban abortion in all cases except when the woman’s life is in immediate danger.

Here’s what you need to know about the protests happening in Poland right now.

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Source: Teen Vogue

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Poland abortion ban protests: Women’s rights, conservative gender roles highlighted

Janka Hrckova Updated: Oct 9, 2016 08:31 IST, FirstPost.com

After a series of protests in the first week of October 2016, the Polish government announced it would not be pushing through a proposed legislation that would effectively ban abortions in the country.

The sudden u-turn of the government came as a surprise to many, yet few perceive defending the shaky status quo as a victory.

The current abortion law has been in place since the early 1990s and counts as one of the most restrictive in Europe. It is widely referred to as a ‘compromise’ between the Catholic Church and the more liberal groups in the society. However, the compromise granted little to the liberal camp, as women’s right to choose was disregarded and exceptions were only granted in cases of rape, incest, when the life of the fetus is under threat or when the mother’s health is in grave danger. And pundits assume that the ruling party will soon attempt to come up with yet another ‘compromise’ solution, further tightening the already strict law and parading it as a concession to the protesters.

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Source FirstPost.com

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Polish women hail victory in abortion standoff and seek more

by Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press

Posted Oct 6, 2016 6:25 am ADT

WARSAW, Poland – Polish women are declaring victory in a dramatic showdown that pitted them against an anti-abortion group and the conservative government this week. Three days after the women donned black, boycotted work and staged giant street protests, lawmakers on Thursday voted overwhelming against a complete ban on abortion — a proposal they had supported just two weeks earlier.

The victory merely maintains the status quo, which is one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, but feminists hope they have gained the momentum to attack that next.

Agnieszka Graff, a prominent feminist commentator, said she and other feminists have struggled in vain for years to reach younger Polish women, and that this was the first time she has seen them mobilized in huge numbers.

“The feeling on the street was revolutionary. Women were angry but they were also elated at seeing how many of us there were. The black clothes created this secret-but-open signal that connected strangers on the street,” Graff said.

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Source: Associated Press / News957

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Polish parliament rejects near-total abortion ban after protests

Thursday, Oct 6, 2016
By Pawel Sobczak and Marcin Goettig | WARSAW

Poland's parliament overwhelmingly rejected plans for a near-total ban on abortion on Thursday after mass protests by tens of thousands of women, marking an embarrassing setback for the conservative government and the powerful Catholic Church.

The ruling Law and Justice party (PIS) had originally backed the draft proposals drawn up by an independent anti-abortion campaign group but was badly shaken by Monday's protest rallies across Poland attended by up to 100,000 women dressed in black.

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Source: Reuters

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Bid to ban abortion in Poland sparks heated Strasbourg debate

The European Parliament. Source: Wikimedia Commons

05.10.2016 20:14, Radio Poland

Left-wing European Parliament deputies on Wednesday slammed a “medieval” bid to ban abortion in Poland, while conservative MEPs stressed the controversial measure is not a government initiative.

The European Parliament debate came after a citizens’ bill to tighten staunchly Catholic Poland’s already restrictive abortion laws last week cleared a key parliamentary hurdle and was sent by MPs to the committee stage.

But in a move that surprised many, a Polish parliamentary committee on Wednesday rejected the bill, which had triggered street protests and fierce criticism on social media.

Malin Björk, a Swedish politician for the Left Party, said in the European Parliament debate in Strasbourg: “This new [proposed] law is a huge blow against women’s rights.”

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Source: Radio Poland

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Polish government reverses course on abortion bill after mass protest

October 5, 2016
By Karolina Chorvath
Ground Truth Project

It was pouring rain, but across Poland, women donned in black and holding umbrellas flooded the streets Monday. Tens of thousands cut work to protest a bill calling for a total ban on abortion.

Poland’s current abortion law is already one of the strictest in the EU. Women can only have abortions in cases of rape or incest, a threat to the mother’s life or health, or severe damage to the fetus. Under the bill proposed by the reigning conservative, nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), all abortions would be criminalized and women could be jailed for miscarriages.

“[This] would mean living in fear,” said Urszula Turkiewicz, 28, an English teacher and translator in Warsaw. “Fear of being sexually active, fear of being assaulted and having to go through pregnancy and childbirth… fear of not being able to get proper medical care if they do get pregnant [by choice].”

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Source: Ground Truth Project

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Poland abortion: Deputy PM backs away from ban

Oct 5, 2016, BBC

Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin has said proposals put before parliament for a near-total ban on abortion will not be implemented.

A citizens' bill backed by the Catholic Church aims to ban all abortions except if the mother's life is at risk.

State-run radio quoted Mr Gowin as saying that a nationwide protest on Monday against the proposals had given the government "food for thought".

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has also distanced the government from the bill.

"I want to state very clearly that the PiS (Law and Justice) government is not working on any legislation changing the rules on abortion in Poland," Ms Szydlo told a news conference on Tuesday.

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Source: BBC.com

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Polish government signals U-turn on total abortion ban

Minister says women’s protests ‘taught us humility’ and conservative leadership will withdraw support for controversial move

Associated Press in Warsaw

Wednesday 5 October 2016 14.18 BST, The Guardian

A proposed total abortion ban in Poland will not be implemented, a member of the government has said, describing mass protests against the ban as a lesson in humility for the country’s leadership.

Jarosław Gowin, the minister of science and higher education, said on Wednesday that the protests by women had “caused us to think and taught us humility”.

The comments appear to indicate that Poland’s conservative leadership will withhold support from the highly unpopular proposal to ban abortions even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk.

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Source: The Guardian

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Polish gov’t tries to calm mass outrage at abortion proposal

Oct. 4, 2016 1:23 PM EDT, The Big Story

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's government struggled Tuesday to deal with the fallout from massive street protests by women furious at a legislative proposal to impose a total ban on abortion — and gave signals that it would withhold its support from the deeply divisive measure.

Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski denounced the protests — which involved tens if not hundreds of thousands across the nation — as "marginal" and "a mockery of important issues."

But when that triggered outrage among female opposition lawmakers, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo attempted to calm the waters, saying she did not approve of Waszczykowski's comments and that her government is not actively engaged in an attempt to further restrict the current law, which is already one of the most restrictive in Europe.

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Source: The Big story

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