Nov 28, 2020
By: Vanessa Gera, Canadian Press
WARSAW, Poland — Police blocked protesters from marching in Poland's capital as demonstrations took place across the country against an attempt to restrict abortion rights and recent police violence.
Police and protesters played a game of cat and mouse in Warsaw as officers set up cordons which the protesters sought to evade, pushing them to try to regroup elsewhere in the city centre.
The move came after two weeks of protests that were the most intense in the country since the 1989 collapse of communism.
By Monika Pronczuk
Nov. 4, 2020
BRUSSELS — Poland’s right-wing government has delayed implementation of a court ruling that would impose a near-total ban on abortions after two weeks of the largest protests the country has experienced since the 1989 collapse of communism.
The country already had one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws before its Constitutional Tribunal ruled on Oct. 22 that terminating pregnancies for fetal abnormalities — one of three justifications for legal abortions and virtually the only type performed in the country — violated the Constitution.
The decision, which cannot be appealed, halts pregnancy terminations for fetal abnormalities, virtually the only type currently performed in the country.
By Monika Pronczuk
Oct. 22, 2020
A constitutional tribunal in Poland ruled on Thursday that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the country’s Constitution, effectively imposing a near-total ban in a nation that already had some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.
The debate over a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, a divisive issue in a staunchly Roman Catholic country, mirrors the bitter polarization of a society caught between traditional religious values and more liberal ones.
By Alicja Ptak
OCTOBER 19, 2020
WARSAW (Reuters) - In April, in the midst of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Poland, Katarzyna found out that the baby she was carrying had a severe genetic disorder and would probably die before birth or shortly after.
She immediately decided to terminate the pregnancy. When she finally managed to, five weeks later and after meeting some 10 doctors, securing a fallback plan in Germany and researching home methods, she knew she would not try to get pregnant again.
Poland’s abortion debate back in parliament
EURACTIV.com with AFP
Jan 10, 2018
Poland’s abortion debate was back on the agenda on Wednesday (10 January), more than a year after tens of thousands of black-clad women successfully took to the streets in the Catholic country to stop the tightening of a law that is already one of the most restrictive in Europe.
The Polish parliament, which is controlled by the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, began debating two competing draft laws: one that aims to liberalise the law and another that seeks to ban abortion when the foetus is deformed.
How Poland’s far-right government is pushing abortion underground
A year ago, mass protests in Poland defeated a new abortion ban. But the ruling party, supported by the church, continues to cut reproductive rights – leaving people at the mercy of the black market.
By Alex Cocotas
Thursday 30 November 2017
Barbara Nowacka first had an inkling that something exceptional was happening on the morning of the protests. It was October 2016, and a journalist she knew, a conservative, called to ask how it was looking. She told him she had no idea what was going to happen. The journalist told her that his two daughters had gone to school that morning dressed in black. Perhaps, Nowacka thought, this could be big.
A ban on abortion in Poland had been put forward in parliament six months earlier, and Nowacka, a leftwing politician and long-time social activist, was a leading figure in the movement to oppose it. Nationwide protests had been scheduled for 3 October, but like most people, she had little hope that they would succeed. Perhaps they would get a nice crowd, a little media coverage; but it would ultimately be a gesture. The law would pass.
continued at source: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/30/how-polands-far-right-government-is-pushing-abortion-underground
by Dorota Głażewska
Sept 26, 2016
A few days ago a 12-year old girl gave birth to a child in Kielce. The doctors are in a state of shock. Newspapers are in a state of shock. And I am pissed off. If the bill is passed, such stories will become common occurrence, completely normal and no one should express surprise. In Polish schools there is no sex education and young girls do not have access to gynecological care. Even if there were a gynecological service for girls, but the law was introduced, girls would be forced to continue with their pregnancies, and if any of the doctors tried to save them at an early stage, they could be sentenced to a few years in prison. If girls miscarried, as they’re too young, would they face 2-years’ imprisonment or only a juvenile detention center? Only in this year, in one hospital in Wroclaw, fourteen girls have given birth to children – remarked Barbara Nowacka, leader of the Save Women initiative, in the Sejm. Is Poland supposed to be a country with a more restrictive anti-abortion law than Afghanistan or Iran?
[continued at link]
Source: Political Critique
Ruling PiS party committed to law banning most terminations and making maximum jail term for practitioners five years
Agence France-Presse in Warsaw
Friday 23 September 2016 14.33 BST, The Guardian
Rightwing lawmakers are pushing ahead with a near-total ban on abortion in devoutly Catholic Poland, while rejecting a rival bid to liberalise an existing law which is already among the most restrictive in Europe.
Thousands protest against proposed stricter abortion law in Poland
The governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which controls parliament, has sent to committee a bill that would allow terminations only if the mother’s life was at risk, and increase the maximum jail term for practitioners from two years to five.
The citizen’s initiative tabled in parliament by the Stop Abortion coalition would also make mothers liable to prison terms, though judges could waive punishment.
[continued at link]
Source: The Guardian
Archiwum Polish Press Agency © 2016 / Leszek Szymański
A draft seeking to liberalise Poland's abortion laws prepared by the "Save the Women" Legislative Initiative Committee will reach the Sejm (lower house) on Thursday. The committee collected over 160,000 signatures under the draft.
Under the "Save the Women" draft, women are entitled to have an abortion up to 12 weeks into the pregnancy. After that abortion would be permissible along the same rules as those in effect today.
Additionally, in cases of severe and irreversible impairment of the foetus or an incurable disease, abortion would be permitted up to the 24th week. Abortion would be permissible up to the 18th week if the pregnancy is the result of a crime.
The proposed changes have been initiated by the Polish Initiative Association founded by former United Left leader Barbara Nowacka.
[Continued at link]
Source: Polish Press Agency