Poland: Lawmaker Faces Charges for Pro-Choice Protest

Targeting MP Escalates Attacks on Women’s Rights, Free Speech

December 4, 2022

(Berlin) – Poland’s government should immediately drop charges against a member of parliament who participated in a pro-choice protest and stop targeting reproductive rights activists, Human Rights Watch said today.

On November 29, 2022, the Toruń prosecutor’s office charged Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, a member of the Left (Lewica) party, with “offending religious feelings” and “malicious interference with religious worship.” Each offense carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. She pleaded not guilty.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/12/04/poland-lawmaker-faces-charges-pro-choice-protest


‘Necessary to Disobey Harmful Laws’: These ‘Abortion Pirates’ Want Equal Access to Abortion Pills Worldwide

A colorful crowd of doctors, researchers and women’s activists convened in the Latvian capital to explore ways to use pills to circumvent anti-abortion laws.

By EMILY SCHULTHEIS
11/26/2022

RIGA, Latvia — For two sunny, crisp autumn days in mid-September, Riga’s Stradiņš University felt like the epicenter of a self-styled global civil rights movement: to give every person, in every culture or country, regardless of laws, access to abortion pills.

In the hallways, women pored over posters showing the latest research on the effectiveness of abortion pills and other developments in abortion and contraception care. Representatives from pharmaceutical companies enthusiastically pitched their medications and products to doctors sipping coffee and tea during a break between panels. There were graphic novels about an at-home medical abortion and T-shirts printed with women’s self-stated reasons for ending a pregnancy; there were slogans printed on T-shirts like “Make Abortion Legal Again” and a video promoting abortion rights to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/11/26/global-abortion-rights-movement-latvia-00069224


Poland’s de facto abortion ban risks lives, says MEP

By Clara Bauer-Babef and Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com
Nov 18, 2022

While technically allowed in some cases, abortion in Poland may as well be forbidden, putting women’s lives at risk, said Robert Biedron, EU lawmaker and leader of the Polish opposition party Nowa Lewica on Thursday (17 November).

Two years ago, Poland’s constitutional court approved a highly-restrictive new law that de facto banned abortion. Only 107 legal abortions were performed in 2021, approximately 90% less than in previous years, according to figures published by the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/health-consumers/news/polands-de-facto-abortion-ban-risks-lives-says-mep/


Women call for tougher EU stance on Poland’s abortion laws

At least six women have died in Poland after doctors refused to terminate their pregnancies due to the constitutional court’s ruling on abortions.

By Priyanka Shankar
Published On 18 Nov 2022

Brussels, Belgium – Fighting for justice and women’s rights in Poland has become an integral part of Barbara Skrobol’s life since September 22, 2021.

This was the day her sister-in-law, Izabela Sajbor, died of sepsis at a hospital in southern Poland after doctors refused to terminate her pregnancy after finding foetal defects, due to Poland’s stringent abortion rules.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/11/18/women-call-for-tougher-eu-stance-on-polands-abortion-laws


Poland abortion ban victim’s family says ‘nobody cared about her life’


By Isabel da Silva 
Updated: 18/11/2022

The family of a Polish woman that died due to Poland's restrictive rules on abortion have spoken out about her ordeal. 

Izabela Sajbor, 30, died of septic shock last year when she was 22 weeks pregnant.

Thousands took to the streets to protest the victim of the country's near-total abortion ban, which was approved in October 2020.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/11/17/nobody-cared-about-her-life-family-of-polish-abortion-ban-victim-speak-out

By Isabel da Silva 
Updated: 18/11/2022

The family of a Polish woman that died due to Poland's restrictive rules on abortion have spoken out about her ordeal. 

Izabela Sajbor, 30, died of septic shock last year when she was 22 weeks pregnant.

Thousands took to the streets to protest the victim of the country's near-total abortion ban, which was approved in October 2020.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2022/11/17/nobody-cared-about-her-life-family-of-polish-abortion-ban-victim-speak-out


Record support for abortion up to 12 weeks in Poland, finds poll

NOV 16, 2022

Support among the Polish public for allowing access to abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy has risen to 70%, the highest level ever recorded by pollster Ipsos.

The findings continue a trend that has seen support for abortion rights increase after the October 2020 constitutional court ruling that introduced a near-total ban on abortion, which is now only allowed if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or health or if it results from a crime such as rape.

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2022/11/16/record-support-for-abortion-up-to-12-weeks-in-poland-finds-poll/


Abortion without Borders: How Feminists and Anarchists Defy Polish Anti-Abortion Laws

2022-11-14

In Poland, abortion has been almost completely prohibited since 2020. Nevertheless, a network of anarchists and other feminists strives to ensure that those who need abortions can access them, legally or not. Now that abortion has been prohibited throughout many of the United States, as well, people in North America stand to gain from the experience of those who have already been confronting this situation for years. To learn how Polish activists use direct action and mutual aid to keep abortion accessible, we interviewed participants in this network.

Maintaining widespread access to abortion—legal or not—is crucial to saving lives and preserving the autonomy of those targeted by patriarchal power structures. It is also an essential part of the struggle to legalize abortion. As we argued in June, after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade,

Continued: https://crimethinc.com/2022/11/14/abortion-without-borders-how-feminists-and-anarchists-defy-polish-anti-abortion-laws-1


What Poland Tells America About Abortion Politics

Democrats and Republicans alike can learn from the only other country to roll back the legal right to abortion in the last 15 years.

by ELLA CREAMER
11/07/2022

It happened like this: A dogged religious right and a determined set of anti-abortion movers and shakers poured years of work into curbing abortion access. Their efforts swayed conservative politicians, who adopted opposition to abortion as a central ideological goal in a vicious culture war. They appointed conservative judges to the courts, and when the topic of abortion crossed those judges’ dockets, they made a shocking yet predictable ruling that vastly curtailed abortion access.

No, I’m not talking about the U.S. This is what happened in Poland.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/11/07/poland-america-abortion-politics-00065416


Will Polish police repeat crackdown on anti-abortion protests two years on?

OPINION: The EU should insist that Poland uphold the right to sexual and reproductive health care|

Letta Tayler
21 October 2022

It’s two years since hundreds of thousands of people – mostly women – joined protests in Poland against a near-total ban on legal abortion. Police used violence to disperse rallies and detained thousands of protesters.

On Monday, protesters in Warsaw, at the Constitutional Tribunal, plan to mark the second anniversary of the tribunal’s ruling with another rally, outside the Constitutional Tribunal, which approved the near-total ban. They say they will repeat their demands on the government to decriminalise terminations and to ensure access to safe and legal abortion for all.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/poland-abortion-law-ban-protests-second-anniversary-police/


Abortion Without Borders helps almost 80,000 people access abortions in place of the Polish state

Thursday, October 20, 2022
Abortion Without Borders / Women Help Women

Two years on from Poland’s decision to effectively ban abortion, members of Abortion Without Borders have supported 78,000 people from Poland to access abortions safely.

In the last year, AWB has helped 44,000 people, with more than 1,200 able to terminate their pregnancies in the second trimester in clinics in other European countries.

Continued: https://womenhelp.org/en/page/1498/abortion-without-borders-helps-almost-80-000-people-access-abortions