MEPs condemn Poland’s abortion law

European Parliament urges Warsaw to ‘refrain from any further attempts’ to restrict women’s sexual and reproductive health rights.

November 26, 2020

The European Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that "strongly condemns" Poland's recent tightening of abortion rules and urges the government to "refrain from any further attempts" to restrict women's sexual and reproductive health rights.

A total of 455 MEPs voted in favor of the resolution (with 145 against) "on the de-facto ban on the right to abortion in Poland," weeks after millions of protesters took to the streets to protest a ruling from the country’s Constitutional Tribunal that abortions for reasons of fetal abnormality violate the Polish constitution.


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.


Poland’s abortion ban: a crushing blow to reproductive rights

BMJ Opinion
November 4, 2020

On 22 October 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland ruled that abortion on the grounds of fetal abnormality was unconstitutional, further restricting Poland’s already stringent 1993 abortion law. This verdict means that only two of the previous three grounds for pregnancy termination remain valid: when the pregnancy poses a serious risk to the mother’s health, or when it is a result of a criminal act. Abortions justified by these conditions constitute only 2% of legal abortions carried out in Poland. Poland is the only EU state that does not allow for abortion on request nor on socio-economic grounds. Even prior to the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling last week, obtaining an abortion on any of the legal grounds was remarkably difficult, with doctors and hospitals resorting to conscientious objection, or purposefully referring women for additional and unnecessary tests in order to exceed the gestational limit of fetal viability.


Poles divided on ‘draconian’ abortion, sex education bills

Poles divided on 'draconian' abortion, sex education bills
Polish lawmakers are set to debate draft laws that would impose a near-total ban on abortion, criminalize school sex education and equate homosexuality with pedophilia despite similar bills getting dropped in the past due to a popular outcry

By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press
15 April 2020

WARSAW, Poland -- Polish lawmakers began debating draft laws Wednesday that would impose a near-total ban on abortion, criminalize sex education in schools and equate homosexuality with pedophilia, revisiting proposals backed by a Catholic group that were shelved after a popular outcry.

Domestic critics and international human rights organizations say Poland's conservative government is playing foul by bringing the controversial proposals to parliament during the coronavirus pandemic. Mass demonstrations thwarted the bills in the past but would be illegal under a current lockdown that limits gatherings to five people.

Continued :

Protesting Poles engage in drive for abortion rights

Protesting Poles engage in drive for abortion rights

Joanna Plucinska, Reuters
April 14, 2020

WARSAW — Poles took to social media and their cars on Tuesday to oppose proposals set to be discussed in parliament this week to limit abortion rights and to criminalize sex education in conservative Poland.

As restrictions on movement to contain the novel coronavirus prevented street gatherings, protesters driving in their cars blocked off one of Warsaw’s main roundabouts, Rondo Dmowskiego.


Women in Poland protest draft law curbing abortion rights

Women in Poland protest draft law curbing abortion rights

by The Associated Press
Posted Apr 14, 2020

WARSAW, Poland — Paying lip service to COVID-19 lockdown rules, scores of women driving cars or riding bicycles in Warsaw protested Tuesday against a new effort by the conservative government to tighten already restrictive anti-abortion laws.

They oppose draft laws due to be debated in the lower house of parliament this week that would ban abortion of sick or deformed fetuses and penalize sex education in schools.


Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed

Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed
Don’t Manipulate Pandemic to Endanger Women, Adolescents

April 14, 2020
Human Rights Watch

(London) – Poland’s Parliament will consider regressive legislation this week that would restrict sexual and reproductive health and rights and put the lives and well-being of women and adolescents at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The legislation is scheduled for reading on April 15 or 16, 2020 as the country remains under a COVID-19-related state of emergency that bans group gatherings.

The bills under consideration were originally introduced in March 2018 and October 2019, and have since been stalled or not moved forward under the Parliament elected in November 2019. Both were met by street protests.


USA – How the Supreme Court Could Gut Reproductive Rights Without Ruling on a Single Abortion Restriction

How the Supreme Court Could Gut Reproductive Rights Without Ruling on a Single Abortion Restriction

Jordan Smith
February 10 2020

Julie Bindeman’s first pregnancy went so smoothly, and she and her husband were so enamored with their newborn son, that the couple decided to try for a second child as soon as possible. They conceived easily — just as they had the first time around — but then Bindeman miscarried. That reframed her thinking around pregnancy. “It wasn’t just, you get pregnant and have a baby, which had been my first experience,” she said. “Well, you can get pregnant and not have a baby, and that can happen really early.”

The couple decided to try again. Bindeman was anxious during the first trimester, bracing for another miscarriage. But that didn’t happen, and things seemed to be proceeding well. Then, at the 20-week mark, they received devastating news after a routine ultrasound: The fetus’s brain was not developing properly. If the fetus were to survive to term, it would never develop beyond a 2-month-old — it wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, or feed itself. “Our lives completely turned upside down,” Bindeman said.


Delhi: Five-year wait for law to ease abortion rules

Delhi: Five-year wait for law to ease abortion rules

Apr 19, 2019

NEW DELHI: Last month, when a woman in Maharashtra found out that her 22-week-old fetus had a brain condition that posed “substantial risk of serious physical handicap,” she had to move court because abortion is not allowed in India after 20 weeks. The woman and her husband would have been spared this trauma had a five-year old proposal to allow medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) up to 24 weeks in problematic cases become law.

It was in 2014 that the Union health ministry drafted the amendment to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act for cases in which doctors diagnose fetal abnormalities or substantial risk to the mother or the child.


USA – Later Abortion: A Love Story

Later Abortion: A Love Story

Missy Kurzweil

I recently met someone new and we talked for a while. She asked me where I’m from; I asked her what she does for work. She asked me if I have any children.

That last question gave me pause, not because it was too personal but because I wasn’t sure how to answer. If I said no, it would feel like a sad lie. If I said yes, she might ask how old my child is and I would have to say, “He would have been one in March.” Then she might say, “Oh. I’m so sorry,” and we would sit together in a sea of awkwardness rising around us. Maybe she would stop there, or continue with a sympathetic “May I ask what happened?” And I would have to say, “He died.”