Poland: Escalating Threats to Women Activists

Human Rights Watch
March 31, 2021

(Berlin) – Bomb and death threats targeting at least seven groups in Poland for supporting women’s rights and the right to abortion are disturbing reminders of escalating risks to women’s human rights defenders in the country, Human Rights Watch, CIVICUS, and International Planned Parenthood Federation-European Network (IPPF-EN) said today.

The authorities should urgently investigate, protect the women targeted and hold those responsible for the threats accountable. Polish officials should also counter abusive misinformation campaigns targeting activists.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/31/poland-escalating-threats-women-activists


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/


Poland – ‘Women’s rights are being trampled’

Voices from a protest march in Warsaw over Poland's near-total abortion ban

By Kuba Kaminski, Antonia Mortensen and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN Sun January 31, 2021

Warsaw, Poland — The protesters who marched through the Polish capital's icy streets on Friday night had a clear message for the government over its imposition this week of a near-total ban on abortions: We will stand up for women's rights.

It was the third day of protests since the ruling came into effect -- and marked 100 days of protests since Poland's constitutional tribunal court first handed down its controversial ruling, sparking weeks of mass demonstrations.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/31/europe/poland-abortion-law-protests-intl/index.html


A major battle is brewing over abortion rights in Poland

Dec 19, 2020

By Malcolm Brabant, Ivette Feliciano
Video – 9:21 minutes

A major battle is underway over abortion rights in Poland. The country’s constitutional court, whose legitimacy has been questioned by some, has made it even harder for Polish women to get abortions. The move has been condemned by the European Parliament and human rights groups like Amnesty International. Special Correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports from the capital Warsaw.

Read the Full Transcript

Continued: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/a-major-battle-is-brewing-over-abortion-rights-in-poland


“They’re uncompromising”: How the young transformed Poland’s abortion protests

Four years ago, Polish women went on strike over an abortion ban. Now, a younger, fiery generation has joined them.

Magdalena Muszel, Grzegorz Piotrowski
11 December 2020

The protests in Poland over the government’s plans to further tighten abortion restrictions began in October – they haven’t stopped since. Now, some are calling it the “cardboard revolution” in reference to the handmade placards that have become a distinctive feature of the protests. But what’s novel about the movement isn’t the ubiquitous signage – it’s the young age of its participants.

When looking through the crowds at the protests, it quickly becomes clear that most participants appear to be in their early twenties. That might explain the radicalism of the movement’s chants and slogans, but also it’s creativity and spontaneity.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/can-europe-make-it/theyre-uncompromising-how-the-young-transformed-polands-abortion-protests/


Solidarity across countries: Perspectives of Polish abortion rights protesters

BY MIRANDA JIANG
Dec 5, 2020

More than 200 people met at San Francisco’s Rincon Park on Nov. 1 to show support for the protests in Poland against the government’s latest abortion restrictions. Right next to the Embarcadero waterfront, face-masked adults and children carried signs emblazoned with red bolts of lightning, the symbol of Poland’s Women’s Strike. On the signs were slogans, most in Polish and some in English, including “San Fran stands with the women of Poland” and “Abort the Patriarchy.”

“This is a peaceful show of support for our country,” said Magdalena Myszka, a Bay Area resident born and raised in Poland. Myszka organized this protest by posting an event on Facebook. The protesters chanted slogans used in the Polish protests, some of which translate to “I think, I feel, I decide” and “This is war.”

Continued: https://www.dailycal.org/2020/12/05/poland-abortion-protests/


Poland’s government creates constitutional crisis it will find hard to resolve

Malgorzata Tomczak, Warsaw
November 30, 2020

In the past, the problems of the country’s constitutional court were seen as complex and detached from people’s daily lives. Until now that is, when they started to impact on the most private and sensitive areas of Polish women’s lives.

With its recent legal attempt to put further limits on abortion, the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) has created a constitutional crisis that will be hard to resolve. And its reckless actions are already impacting on Polish women’s lives.

Continued: https://balkaninsight.com/2020/11/30/polands-government-creates-constitutional-crisis-it-will-find-hard-to-resolve/


Poland abortion protests reflect a deep schism in country’s society

By Michael Daventry 
25/11/2020

In October, Poland became the only European Union country to remove a right to legal abortion from its citizens.

The country’s top court ruled on October 22 that it was unconstitutional to abort a foetus if it had congenital defects.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/2020/11/25/poland-abortion-protests-reflect-a-deep-schism-in-country-s-society


Auntie Czech to help Polish women deprived of abortion rights

Angered and disappointed with the recent anti-abortion court ruling in her home country, a young Polish artist living in the Czech Republic is organising help for her compatriots.

Anja Vladisavljevic, Zagreb
November 9, 2020

“Sadness, big sadness, disappointment… and anger”: that's what a Polish artist residing in the Czech capital, Jolanta Nowaczyk, felt when she learnt last month about the anti-abortion court ruling in her home country.

Soon after the controversial court decision on October 22, which effectively outlaws abortion by banning terminations where the foetus is severely damaged or malformed, Nowaczyk organised a protest in front of the Polish embassy in Prague. But that was not the only action she took: Nowaczyk is now also launching an initiative that aims to help Polish women needing an abortion to come to the Czech Republic for the procedure.

Continued: https://balkaninsight.com/2020/11/09/auntie-czech-to-help-polish-women-deprived-of-abortion-rights/


As Polish abortion laws tighten women fear an impossible choice

Her baby could not possibly survive. Still they decided she should have it

Kasia Strek, Warsaw | Peter Conradi

Saturday November 07 2020

Sitting on a hard plastic seat in the corridor of the Bielanski Hospital in
north Warsaw last week, waiting for her abortion pill to take effect,
Malgorzata quietly recounted her struggle to get a termination for a foetal
abnomality in a country bitterly divided over the sanctity of unborn life.

While huge crowds have been on the streets to oppose a hardening of Poland’s already
strict abortion laws, Malgorzata has had to travel from hospital to hospital to
find one willing to help her.

It was six weeks ago, during the 12th week of her pregnancy, that the
34-year-old businesswoman learnt there was something wrong with the baby she
was carrying: it was too small, did not move much and there was an abnormality
in the jawbone.

Continued: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/as-polish-abortion-laws-tighten-women-fear-an-impossible-choice-fbhgvj6gk