Polish women hail victory in abortion standoff and seek more

by Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press

Posted Oct 6, 2016 6:25 am ADT

WARSAW, Poland – Polish women are declaring victory in a dramatic showdown that pitted them against an anti-abortion group and the conservative government this week. Three days after the women donned black, boycotted work and staged giant street protests, lawmakers on Thursday voted overwhelming against a complete ban on abortion — a proposal they had supported just two weeks earlier.

The victory merely maintains the status quo, which is one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, but feminists hope they have gained the momentum to attack that next.

Agnieszka Graff, a prominent feminist commentator, said she and other feminists have struggled in vain for years to reach younger Polish women, and that this was the first time she has seen them mobilized in huge numbers.

“The feeling on the street was revolutionary. Women were angry but they were also elated at seeing how many of us there were. The black clothes created this secret-but-open signal that connected strangers on the street,” Graff said.

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Source: Associated Press / News957