Poland’s abortion stand-off heats up ahead of parliamentary vote

People attending an anti-government, pro-choice demonstration in Warsaw. Wojtek Radwanski / AFP / Getty Images

Parliament reviews restrictive Bill as pro-choice side lodges liberal one

about 19 hours ago
Derek Scally in Berlin

The gloves have come off in Poland’s bitter abortion battle, with pro-choice and anti-abortion camps lodging rival proposals to reform the country’s restrictive termination regime – in very different directions.

After months of emotive street protests, including gatherings of pro-choice campaigners wielding clothes hangers, the two competing Bills will now force a parliamentary debate over what Polish commentators have dubbed a “cultural war” in an increasingly polarised country.

The draft Bills will change existing Polish abortion legislation from 1993, which allows termination in only three cases: after rape or incest, if the child is “seriously malformed” or if the mother’s health is in danger.

Yesterday in Warsaw’s Sejm parliament, Polish pro-choice campaigners lodged a draft Bill that would liberalise this regime: allowing termination on request until the 12th week of pregnancy and improving access to contraception and sex education.

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Source: Irish Times