Activists in Poland are declaring war after a court decided to restrict abortion in cases of fetal abnormalities.
16 Nov 2020
Poland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. So, when a Polish court tried to restrict abortion even further, it led to mass protests – the largest the country has seen since the fall of communism. Members of Poland’s emboldened feminist movement walk us through the protests and tell us what to expect next.
In this episode: Scholar and writer Agnieszka Graff; Gosia Wochowska and Wiktoria Sakowicz of Gals4Gals Lodz; student and activist Kajetan Chlipalski.
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.
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.
How ‘Essential’ Abortion Services Are Inaccessible in the Lockdown
A 19-year-old rape survivor in Mumbai found out she was pregnant right when India implemented its nationwide lockdown. She knew she had to get an abortion, but with no transport available and with many clinics shutting down their operations, she felt helpless and out of options.
“We went and picked her up and ensured she got the abortion at a public hospital. Forced sex is a critical issue in a lockdown and abortion services are required here and now,” Sangeeta Rege of the Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes (CEHAT), the NGO that intervened and arranged for the girl’s pass and travel, told Reuters.
In Poland, Abortion Access Worsens Amid Pandemic
Abortions were already difficult to obtain and then came the coronavirus.
By Jessica Bateman, Marta Kasztelan
May 1, 2020
The woman was 21 weeks pregnant when she contacted Abortion Without Borders (AWB), a network of activist groups that advises Polish women on how to access safe terminations. Normally, it would have been relatively simple to book a flight to the United Kingdom, where she could legally access a second-trimester abortion. But the coronavirus outbreak changed everything.
“We got her an appointment, but travel was a different matter,” said Mara Clarke, the founder of Abortion Support Network (ASN), which is part of AWB and helps women obtain abortions overseas. Poland closed its borders and grounded all flights and cross-border public transportation on March 15, meaning the woman would have had to travel to the German border, cross it, and take a train to one of Berlin’s airports.
Abortion battle rages on in Poland despite coronavirus lockdown
By Anna Noryskiewicz, CBS News
April 27, 2020
Poland's conservative leaders have come a step closer to their goal of further tightening what are already some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe.
Abortions are only permitted in Poland in cases of certain fetal abnormalities, rape, incest or a threat to the mother's health. The new legislation, which recently passed a preliminary vote in the lower house of Poland's parliament, would prohibit abortions due to any fatal abnormalities or incurable illnesses of the child.
As Poland defies 'European values,' women resist on streets and online
By Eliza Mackintosh, CNN
Wed April 22, 2020
(CNN)Marta Gorczynska got in her car and started driving.
She didn't have a destination as she passed through Warsaw's mostly deserted streets, but, just before noon last Tuesday, she got a text with directions: go to Rondo Dmowskiego.
Gorczynska, a human rights lawyer, was among a throng of protesters that used their vehicles to defy Poland's lockdown and block the main roundabout in the capital, honking their horns and shouting slogans against a citizen's bill to tighten what are already some of the most restrictive abortion laws anywhere in Europe.
Polish parliament delays decision on new abortion restrictions
Proposal would ban terminations even on grounds of serious foetal abnormalities
Shaun Walker, Central and eastern Europe correspondent
Thu 16 Apr 2020
Poland’s parliament has deferred a final decision on a bill that seeks to tighten the country’s already strict abortion legislation.
The bill would outlaw abortion on the grounds of serious foetal abnormalities, one of a small number of exceptions to a near-total ban on abortion currently in place in the country. It has been sent back to a parliamentary committee for further work.
Why a NY woman came to Colorado for a 32-week abortion
Forty-three states place some restrictions on abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, but Colorado isn’t one of them
By Anna Staver, The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: October 13, 2019
In the spring of 2016, Erika Christensen and her husband walked past a tall, wooden fence that obscured the Boulder office of Dr. Warren Hern from the street and into his waiting room.
Printed signs taped to bulletproof glass told her all electronic devices — even cellphones — were prohibited and asked her to tell someone on staff if she needed to leave for any reason. The only items she could carry through the door were a printed book, her identification card and a check for $10,000.