Poland’s Abortion Ban Protests Changed the Country Forever

Restrictions are still in place, but the Catholic consensus that dominated Polish politics is over.

By Joy Neumeyer
NOVEMBER 8, 2021

In October 2020, after Poland’s constitutional court imposed a near-total ban on abortion, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. Demonstrators across the country were united by the lightning bolt symbol of the All-Polish Women’s Strike and a simple slogan: “Fuck off.”

One year later, their campaign may seem at first glance to have reached a dead end. The court’s decision remains in effect, and Women’s Strike leaders face criminal charges for actions committed during the protests. But the movement’s apparent defeat conceals its deep impact. The Catholic consensus that dominated Polish politics since the fall of communism is over, with far-reaching effects: Public acceptance of abortion is up, support for the ruling party has fallen, and progressive activists are building new coalitions.

Continued: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/11/08/poland-abortion-ban-women-strike-catholic-religion-progressive-politics/


Civil unrest as Poland implements near-total abortion law; an attack on reproductive rights

Makaela Jones
March 1, 2021
The Organization for World Peace

On 27 January, the Polish government passed controversial legislation further tightening their already restrictive abortion laws.  Relative to other European nations, Poland’s abortion laws were already prohibitive, tolerated only in cases of rape, incest, foetal abnormalities, and maternal health complications. The government’s ruling follows an earlier revision made by the Constitutional Tribunal in October 2020 that declared the termination of a congenitally defective fetus was unconstitutional. The abortion law was last amended in 1993. The proposed amendment resulted in an extreme public outcry and mass demonstrations, forcing the government to reassess the revised abortion law. Prior to the Courts ruling on Wednesday the government had indicated they were open to dialogue. However, the abrupt passing of the new legislation has caused extreme division amongst Polish residents. It demonstrates the extreme cultural, moral, and political divide that resides within Poland. The continual nationwide unrest is the largest the country has seen following the fall of communism in 1989.

Continued: https://theowp.org/civil-unrest-as-poland-implements-near-total-abortion-law-an-attack-on-reproductive-rights/


Poland’s Recent Abortion Ban

The PiS, the Catholic Church, and the Denial of Basic Human Rights

By Enora Lauvau
On Feb 21, 2021
The McGill International Review

Known to be a conservative Roman Catholic nation, Poland has long been home to fierce debate over abortion rights, with the two opposing sides consisting of traditionalists and those advocating a more progressive agenda. Tensions reached an all-time high last October, as the country’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled to further increase the restrictions on legal abortions. Already, Poland had some of the most stringent abortion laws in Europe, with abortion been legal in only three cases: fetal abnormalities, a direct threat to the woman’s health, and rape or incest. In a decision made on October 22, 2020, however, the court declared abortions in the case of congenital defects illegal, on the basis that the Polish Constitution protects human life. Considering that out of the mere 1,100 abortions that legally occurred in Poland last year, 98 per cent of them were for this reason, such a decision essentially ensures that those seeking abortions will either be forced to leave the country or perform them at home, both of which will put their health at risk and leave them vulnerable to legal prosecution. Already, women’s rights groups estimate that between 80,000 to 150,000 citizens get abortions outside of Poland’s health system each year.

Continued: https://www.mironline.ca/polands-recent-abortion-ban/


The unheard pain of abortion in Poland

By Valérie Gauriat 
Updated: 12/02/2021

In front of one of Warsaw's main hospitals, an ominous van is parked. Its sides are covered in an image of what is allegedly a dead fetus. It's a message from anti-abortion groups to one of the capital’s few facilities that still perform pregnancy terminations.

A recent ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal has just toughened one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Terminations in Poland were once only allowed in cases of rape, incest, danger to the mother's health or life, serious defects of the fetus or incurable disease. The new amendments mean that last option is now prohibited.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/2021/02/12/the-unheard-pain-of-abortion-in-poland


Abortion rights: An open wound in many European countries

By Alexandra Brzozowski and Raffaella Margaryan
Nov 18, 2020

Poland already had one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, and is on the verge of tightening it even further. But a closer look at other European countries shows the trend does not go towards liberalisation either, while at EU level, the European Commission is legally unarmed.

The protest against a strict abortion ban in Poland continues and is now turning into an anti-government movement.

Continued: https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/abortion-rights-an-open-wound-in-many-european-countries/


‘A backlash against a patriarchal culture’: How Polish protests go beyond abortion rights

Mass demonstrations have exposed underlying anger at political and religious interference in people’s everyday lives

by Jon Henley, Europe correspondent, and Kasia Strek in Warsaw
Fri 6 Nov 2020

For 14 nights they have marched, enraged by a near-total ban on abortion that has stirred a generation to stage the largest mass demonstrations that Poland has seen since Solidarność toppled the communist regime in the 1980s.

Until soaring coronavirus numbers and a looming national lockdown made it almost impossible, up to a million people nightly defied a government ban on protests, taking to the streets from Warsaw to Łódź, Poznań to Wrocław, Gdańsk to Kraków.

Continued:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/06/a-backlash-against-a-patriarchal-culture-how-polish-protests-go-beyond-abortion-rights