Poles protest one year after court ruling restricted abortion rights

By Euronews & AP 
Updated: 23/10/2021

Poles took to the streets on Friday night to mark the one year anniversary of a constitutional court ruling that restricted abortion rights in Poland in October 2020.

Protests were held in Warsaw and other cities but numbers were far smaller than the demonstrations that followed last year's ruling, the biggest in three decades since the end of Communism.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/2021/10/23/poles-protest-one-year-after-court-ruling-restricted-abortion-rights

Abortion Without Borders helps more than 34,000 people in Poland access abortions

Published on October 21, 2021

A year ago – on 22 October 2020 – a Polish Constitutional Court decided
that the provision of abortion in case of foetal malformation was
unconstitutional. While the decision didn’t come into force until 27 January
2021, the change happened immediately. The next day, despite the still-valid
provision of abortion under Poland’s abortion act, the first four people
refused abortion in Polish hospitals called Abortion Without Borders for help.

Over the past 12 months Abortion Without Borders groups have helped 34,000
people from Poland to access abortion. 1080 people were able to terminate their
pregnancy in a foreign clinic in the second trimester. Financial support given
was more than 700,000 zloty/ £129,000/ €153,000.

Continued: https://www.asn.org.uk/abortion-without-borders-helps-more-than-34000-people-in-poland-access-abortions/

Poland: A Year On, Abortion Ruling Harms Women

International Federation for Human Rights

(Brussels, October 19, 2021) – Women, girls,
and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal
abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned
legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since the
ruling, women human rights defenders have also faced an increasingly hostile
and dangerous environment.

Poland’s authorities should end efforts to undermine reproductive rights and
weaken protections from gender-based violence. They should commit to protecting
women human rights defenders who have faced ongoing threats and attacks since
the October 2020 decision. Escalating death threats since October 9 against
Marta Lempart, co-founder of Ognopolski Strajk Kobiet (All-Poland Women’s Strike)
and a target of repeated threats for leading demonstrations supporting legal
abortion and women’s rights, led to her police protection during public

Continued: https://www.fidh.org/en/region/europe-central-asia/poland/poland-a-year-on-abortion-ruling-harms-women

Change is inevitable: people demand the human right to access safe abortion across Europe

Amnesty International
September 28, 2021

Europe has been at the forefront of the global trend towards the liberalization of abortion laws for more than 60 years. But there is still work to do to give all women and people who can become pregnant access to safe and legal abortion.

Almost all EU member states have now legalized abortion on request or on broad socio-economic grounds and, in the last few years, several European countries have enacted important progressive reforms or taken steps to remove harmful procedural and regulatory barriers that can impede access to abortion.

Continued: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/09/change-is-inevitable-people-demand-the-human-right-to-access-safe-abortion-across-europe/

As Abortion Rights Expand, the U.S. Joins a Handful of Telling Exceptions

Recent shifts on access to abortion suggest democracy and women’s rights go hand in hand — and that the inverse might be true as well.

By Max Fisher
Published Sept. 9, 2021

The story of abortion rights in the 21st century can be seen in two world-shaking developments this past week. In the first, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively upheld drastic new abortion restrictions in Texas. A few days later, Mexico’s high court paved the way for nationwide legalization.

It may be tempting to see Mexico’s ruling as the more surprising, catapulting the world’s second most populous Catholic country on a deeply contentious social matter.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/09/world/abortion-rights-us.html

From ‘Conscientious Objection’ to ‘Conscientiously Committed’ – How OBGYNS can advocate for bodily autonomy in access to safe abortion

1 September 2021
FIGO - Advocating for Safe Abortion Project, Committee on Safe Abortion

In this FIGO Long Read, we provide a round-up of a recent roundtable discussion hosted by FIGO's Advocating for Safe Abortion Project (ASAP) and Committee on Safe Abortion. Together with partners, we explored the critical issue of conscientious objection and its impact on the availability of and access to legal and safe abortion services.

Quote by Laura Gil: Sadly ‘conscientious objection’ has become a widespread  barrier for many people to access the care that they need.   It is very common to hear that women or girls cannot get an abortion on time, got an unsafe abortion, or didn't get  one at all because of ‘conscientious objection‘ from  the available personnel.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/conscientious-objection-conscientiously-committed-how-obgyns-can-advocate-bodily-autonomy

The mental health cost of Poland’s abortion ban

Seven months after severe restrictions against abortion came into effect, women are struggling with the emotional toll of the near-total ban.

by Ylenia Gostoli
22 Aug 2021

When Dominika Biernat took to the streets last October, joining the huge public protests against Poland’s near-total ban on abortion, little did she know that in a few months she would become one of its victims.

A single woman and a successful actress with
one of Warsaw’s most renowned theatre companies, her pregnancy was not planned.
But the father was a good friend and when she found out, the 39-year-old
thought it could be one of her last chances to become a mother.

Continued: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/8/22/the-mental-health-costs-of-polands-abortion-ban

The fragility of abortion access in Europe: a public health crisis in the making

The Lancet
Céline Miani and Oliver Razum

Poland is rightly being criticised for suppressing abortion services.1 Since January, 2021, abortion is only legal if the pregnancy is directly life-threatening or the result of rape or incest. However, countries with allegedly more progressive policies have reasons to be self-critical as well.

An example is Germany, considered a liberal country in terms of abortion law from an international perspective, since women can be granted an abortion on request for any reason, including socioeconomic reasons. Yet, abortion in Germany is technically a crime (albeit not punished up to 12 weeks from conception), and gynaecologists are losing court cases for stating on their websites that they provide abortion care in a supportive environment.2 Attacks on abortion rights and services are nourished by vocal conservative and religious forces whose agendas find support in a non-negligible share of the population.

Continued: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01225-3/fulltext

Poles becoming more socially liberal, with growing support for LGBT rights and abortion: poll

AUG 6, 2021

Poles are becoming more socially liberal and opposed to the privileged status the Catholic church enjoys in relations with the state, according to the latest findings from long-term polling by CBOS, a state research agency.

Support for legal access to abortion has reached 41% – a rise of 12 percentage points since 2019 and the highest figure since 1999. By contrast, 29% favour the legal prohibition of abortion, down 10 percentage points since two years ago, reports the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Continued: https://notesfrompoland.com/2021/08/06/poles-becoming-more-socially-liberal-with-growing-support-for-lgbt-rights-and-abortion-poll/

A record number of children have entered Poland’s anti-abortion colouring competition

July 26, 2021

A ‘pro-life’ colouring competition for children and teenagers in Poland has received the most entries ever. The record comes in a year when thousands of Poles took to the streets to call for wider abortion rights.

Poland is one of the most religious countries in Europe, with around 87 per cent of the population identifying as Roman-Catholic. 

Continued: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/a-record-number-of-children-have-entered-poland-s-anti-abortion-colouring-competition