Poland – Tusk government faces first crisis after abortion and court setbacks

Two embarrassing blows in the space of less than a week have left Donald Tusk’s government facing its first serious crisis, raising questions over the unity and competence of the ruling coalition.

JUL 18, 2024
By Daniel Tilles, Notes from Poland

When Donald Tusk’s coalition came to power late last year, two of its key promises were to soften Poland’s strict abortion laws and to restore the rule of law, including by holding to account figures from the former ruling Law and Justice (PiS) administration for their alleged crimes.

But fulfilling these aims has proven much harder in practice, as two setbacks over the past week have demonstrated.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2024/07/18/tusk-government-faces-first-crisis-after-abortion-and-court-setbacks-opinion/

Polish lawmakers reject easing restrictive abortion laws

This week, conservative President Andrzej Duda warned that he would veto any bill widening abortion access, even if it is passed by legislators.

July 12, 2024

WARSAW, Poland (AFP) — Polish lawmakers on Friday rejected a bill that would have decriminalized the act of facilitating abortions in a blow for reproductive rights and the country's new liberal government.

The draft law, seen as a precursor to easing traditionally Catholic Poland's almost total ban on abortions, was rejected by 218 legislators against and 215 in favor.

Continued: https://www.courthousenews.com/polish-lawmakers-reject-easing-restrictive-abortion-laws/

Polish president vows to veto bill softening abortion law

JUL 10, 2024
Notes from Poland

Poland’s conservative president, Andrzej Duda, has vowed to veto a bill softening the country’s strict abortion laws that has been proposed by the more liberal governing coalition.

The proposed law would decriminalise the act of helping a woman obtain an unlawful abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy. Under the current law, someone can be jailed for up to three years for doing so.

Asked by broadcaster TVN whether he would sign the bill into law if it is passed by parliament, Duda replied: “No, because for me abortion is the killing of people.”

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2024/07/10/polish-president-vows-to-veto-bill-softening-abortion-law/

Poland’s Parliamentary Commission Recommends Decriminalization of Abortion

Center for Reproductive Rights
June 25, 2024

GENEVA – The Center for Reproductive Rights welcomes today’s landmark recommendation by a Polish parliamentary commission in favour of the decriminalization of abortion in Poland. This recommendation signals an important first step in efforts to align Poland’s abortion laws with European and international norms and ensure the health and rights of women and girls are protected.

The commission has advised the Polish parliament to fully decriminalize abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and later in specific situations. The Polish parliament is expected to consider this proposal from the commission, alongside other recommendations on abortion law reform, later this year.

Continued: https://reproductiverights.org/poland-parliamentary-commission-recommends-abortion-decriminalization/

Almost half of government voters disappointed with failure to liberalise abortion law

JUN 20, 2024
Notes from Poland

Almost half of those who voted for Poland’s ruling coalition are disappointed that it has not yet followed through on its promise to liberalise the country’s abortion law. Meanwhile, over half of young Poles – who voted in record numbers last year – say they are disappointed.

The findings come from a new poll conducted by Ipsos for news outlets OKO.press and TOK FM. They asked respondents how they feel about the fact that, since forming a government in December, the ruling coalition has not changed the abortion law.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2024/06/20/almost-half-of-government-voters-disappointed-with-failure-to-liberalise-abortion-law/

Poland clamps down on hospitals refusing to perform abortions

Jun 19, 2024

By Barbara Erling

WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish authorities have imposed a significant fine on a hospital for denying an abortion to a woman whose pregnancy may have endangered her life, marking a shift in a country with some of the strictest termination rules in Europe.

Poland’s previous nationalist government introduced a near-total ban on abortion in 2021 and embedded conservative social values in law during its eight-year rule.

Continued: https://whbl.com/2024/06/19/poland-clamps-down-on-hospitals-refusing-to-perform-abortions/

First hospital fined for refusing to provide abortion under new Polish government rules

JUN 18, 2024
Notes from Poland

A hospital has been fined for refusing to provide a legal abortion in the first such case since the government recently introduced a requirement for publicly funded medical centres to offer such procedures.

Health minister Izabela Leszczyna announced on Monday that the Pabianice Medical Center was fined 550,000 zloty (€126,300). She revealed that audit proceedings regarding two other medical facilities are also in the “final stages” and that they are also likely to be penalised.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2024/06/18/first-hospital-fined-for-refusing-to-provide-abortion-under-new-polish-government-rules/

Why Poland’s new government is challenged by abortion

Published: May 24, 2024
Patrice McMahon

When Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk formed a coalition government in 2023 committed to making “historic changes,” he promised to improve the country’s track record on women’s rights. Noticeably absent in the coalition’s agreement, however, was any specific wording on access to abortion, one of the most controversial issues under the previous government.

The coalition parties are united in their opposition to the conservative Law and Justice Party, PiS, which led the government for eight years. PiS weakened Poland’s democracy by undermining the independence of the judiciary and placing restrictions on the media, and it strained its relationship with the European Union. PiS also ushered in some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, with the help of hand-picked judges from Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/why-polands-new-government-is-challenged-by-abortion-228863

Polish far-right slams EU abortion financing initiative

By Aleksandra Krzysztoszek | EURACTIV.pl
May 9, 2024

Funding abortions for women seeking treatment in other EU member states with limited services is “unacceptable”, conservative opposition MP Karina Bosak told Euractiv.pl, referring to a recently registered EU citizens’ initiative.

Bosak referred to the EU Citizens’ Initiative dubbed “My Voice, My Choice”, registered by the European Commission last month. It calls on the Commission to put forward a proposal to set up a fund to cover the costs of women who cannot access abortion in their own member state and choose to travel to another country with more liberal abortion laws.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/polish-far-right-slams-eu-abortion-financing-initiative/

Inside Poland’s Abortion Crossroads

... and what it has to do with the Kremlin.

Podcast: 27:50 minutes
DATE: APRIL 29, 2024

When does something as deeply personal as abortion become a matter of foreign policy? Maybe when it becomes a stand-in for national values and belief systems. Or maybe when it becomes a clever wedge to divide societies.

Today, Polish abortion activists are on the cusp of a huge change. After 30 years of some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, it looks like some liberalization could be on the way.

Continued: https://inkstickmedia.com/inside-polands-abortion-crossroads/