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.

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

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.

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Strict law pushes Polish women to have abortions abroad

Published November 03, 2016 Associated Press

PRENZLAU, Germany – While the streets of Warsaw have been engulfed by vehement protests over the government's plan to further restrict abortion, individual Polish women are struggling daily to find ways of ending their unwanted pregnancies.

Monika, 19, had recently split up with her boyfriend when she realized with horror that she was pregnant. With no partner, no money and years of education ahead, she felt an abortion was her only option. But abortion in Poland is illegal in most cases and even when she tracked down a doctor rumored to bend the rules, he refused.

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Source: Associated Press