Polish lawmakers reject easing restrictive abortion laws

This week, conservative President Andrzej Duda warned that he would veto any bill widening abortion access, even if it is passed by legislators.

July 12, 2024

WARSAW, Poland (AFP) — Polish lawmakers on Friday rejected a bill that would have decriminalized the act of facilitating abortions in a blow for reproductive rights and the country's new liberal government.

The draft law, seen as a precursor to easing traditionally Catholic Poland's almost total ban on abortions, was rejected by 218 legislators against and 215 in favor.

Continued: https://www.courthousenews.com/polish-lawmakers-reject-easing-restrictive-abortion-laws/

Why Poland’s new government is challenged by abortion

Published: May 24, 2024
Patrice McMahon

When Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk formed a coalition government in 2023 committed to making “historic changes,” he promised to improve the country’s track record on women’s rights. Noticeably absent in the coalition’s agreement, however, was any specific wording on access to abortion, one of the most controversial issues under the previous government.

The coalition parties are united in their opposition to the conservative Law and Justice Party, PiS, which led the government for eight years. PiS weakened Poland’s democracy by undermining the independence of the judiciary and placing restrictions on the media, and it strained its relationship with the European Union. PiS also ushered in some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, with the help of hand-picked judges from Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/why-polands-new-government-is-challenged-by-abortion-228863

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalize strict law

Thousands of Polish opponents of abortion are marching in Warsaw to protest recent steps by the new government to liberalize the predominantly Catholic nation's strict laws and allow termination of pregnancy until the 12th week

By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press
April 14, 2024

WARSAW, Poland — Thousands of Polish opponents of abortion marched in Warsaw on Sunday to protest recent steps by the new government to liberalize the predominantly Catholic nation’s strict laws and allow termination of pregnancy until the 12th week.

Many participants in the downtown march were pushing prams with children, while others were carrying white-and-red national flags or posters representing a fetus in the womb.

Continued: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/polish-opponents-abortion-march-recent-steps-liberalize-strict-109215375

As U.S. Faces a Rising Tide of Abortion Bans and Restrictions, France Enshrines Freedom of Access in the Constitution

The U.S. and France offer starkly different environments for women—but both countries share a strong feminist tradition. How do we explain their radically different abortion trajectories?


In 2023, seeking “to avoid a U.S.-like scenario for women in France, as hard-right groups are gaining ground,” President Emmanuel Macron promised a constitutional amendment affirming women’s right to abortion and to control over their own bodies. The amendment subsequently passed by a crushing majority of 780 to 72 votes and was inserted ceremoniously into the French Constitution on March 8, 2024, International Women’s Day.

In celebration, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the message “My Body, My Choice.” This global first came approximately 50 years after the French Parliament first voted to decriminalize abortion with the passage of the Veil Law, named for feminist minister of health Simone Veil, who championed the reform.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2024/03/27/france-abortion-usa-bans-constitution-right/

Men’s Catholic order gave secret millions to ‘deceptive’ anti-abortion centres

Revealed: Tax filings show Knights of Columbus ploughed at least $10.8m into ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ in six years

Open Democracy – by Diana Cariboni, Angelina De Los Santos, Mónica Cordero
14 February 2024

A multi-billion-dollar all-male Catholic order in the US has handed at least $10.8m to hundreds of anti-abortion centres in six years, openDemocracy can reveal – several times what was previously known.

Founded in the 19th century to assist Irish widows and orphans in the US, the Knights of Columbus – named after Christopher Columbus – funded at least 485 of the 2,500 so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centres’ in America between 2017 and 2022, our analysis of hundreds of documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) found. The order claims to have two million members.

Continued: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/knights-of-columbus-crisis-pregnancy-centres-anti-abortion-us-daf/

Will Poland’s New Government Legalize Abortion?

Despite campaign promises, the fight for abortion rights seems far from over.

FEBRUARY 12, 2024
Foreign Policy

After Poland’s parliamentary election in October, many voters were hopeful that the new government would finally scrap the country’s strict abortion law. The law, which had been in place for three decades, was tightened further in 2020, leading to a near-total ban on abortion.

The election ended the eight-year rule of Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), with the opposition winning enough seats to form a coalition government. In the lead-up to the vote, two of the three groups that made up the opposition—the centrist Civic Coalition and the Left—pledged to legalize abortion up to or through 12 weeks of pregnancy; the former promised to do so within the first 100 days in office.

Continued: https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/02/12/poland-abortion-rights-pro-choice-election-coalition-pis-law-ban/

Poland appears torn by abortion. Research hints divide isn’t so deep.

By Lenora Chu, Christian Science Monitor
February 9, 2024

Teresa Barszczowska is a proud Polish conservative, and typically votes her Law and Justice party’s line. But when it comes to a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, she wishes her conservative leaders would have had more empathy.

That ability to put oneself in another’s shoes was missing, she says, when her party’s leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, imposed a near-total abortion ban in 2020. “He doesn’t have his family of his own; he’s a bachelor. He doesn’t know how it is,” says Ms. Barszczowska, a pensioner. “He really shouldn’t be meddling in these things.”

Continued: https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2024/0209/Poland-appears-torn-by-abortion.-Research-hints-divide-isn-t-so-deep

Tusk faces a big fight overturning Poland’s abortion ban

The prime minister says easing Poland’s near-total abortion ban is a priority, but he’s facing stiff opposition from within.

FEBRUARY 9, 2024

WARSAW — Poland’s new government won power thanks to the votes of millions of women, but it's now split over an issue that garnered their support — easing abortion rules.

The far-right nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government ruled from 2015 until last October and, in alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, espoused toughening Poland's already very restrictive abortion rules.

Continued: https://www.politico.eu/article/poland-tusk-faces-big-fight-overturning-abortion-ban/

Poland: is abortion law reform imminent?

Last October’s defeat ended the nationalist Law and Justice Party’s eight years in power and makes it possible to restore the right to abortion that Polish women have long campaigned for.

by Malgo Nieziolek, Le Monde diplomatique
February 1, 2024

Donald Tusk told a campaign rally in Gliwice (Silesia) last September, ‘Restoring Polish women’s dignity and guaranteeing their safety are at the heart of our programme.’ At the time, abortion remained almost completely banned in Poland. Tusk, who became prime minister in December, promised to establish free access to voluntary terminations of pregnancy up to the 12th week and to do away with the conscience clause for doctors in the public health system, meaning they will no longer be able to refuse to perform this procedure.

Tusk, also prime minister from 2007 to 2014, had nonetheless told the 2013 Women’s Congress in Warsaw he opposed the liberalisation of the ‘compromise’, one of Europe’s most restrictive pieces of abortion legislation, introduced in 1993 to satisfy the all-powerful Catholic Church and further toughened by the ultraconservative Law and Justice Party (PiS), which ran the country from 2015. Since then, feminist protests had shaken the country, but failed to bring legislative progress.

Continued: https://mondediplo.com/2024/02/10poland

Poland shows the difficulties of trying to reverse an abortion ban

By Kate Brady and Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post
January 27, 2024

PRENZLAU, Germany — Only 30 miles separate the two clinics where gynecologist Maria Kubisa works, but what’s legal at her clinic on this side of the border would be criminal at the clinic back in Poland.

So women have been crossing over to seek help from Kubisa on this side, especially in the past three years, since a Polish court backed by a ring-wing government imposed a near-ban on abortion.

Unlocked: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/27/poland-abortion-12-weeks-donald-tusk/