In a disturbing irony, Poland’s decision to remove the “fetal defect” grounds for abortion will have a disproportionately negative impact on the lives and well-being of women with disabilities.
by MAGDA SZAROTA and SUZANNAH PHILLIPS
On Oct. 22, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that Poland’s law permitting abortion on grounds of “a severe and irreversible fetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the fetus’s life” was unconstitutional. The decision triggered mass protests across Poland and uniting hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life in their concern over the increasing restrictions on women’s rights.
This decision effectively bans access to safe and legal abortion for all pregnant persons, including women with disabilities. The Tribunal asserted that removing the “fetal defect” grounds for abortion would protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
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.”
A proposal to ban most terminations has triggered the largest rallies post-communism Poland has witnessed.
By Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska
6 Nov 2020
Anna has been among the hundreds of thousands who recently marched through the streets of Warsaw, rallying for abortion rights amid the largest protests since the fall of communism.
“When the state fails to protect us, I’ll stand by my sister,” said some signs raised up amid the anger. “I think, I feel, I decide” and “This is war”, read others.
Nov 03, 2020
WARSAW — Poland needs a period of calm to discuss a ruling by the highest court that bans most abortions, a government spokesman said after the measure did not take effect on Monday as expected following two weeks of mass protests.
Widespread outrage among women and others greeted the Oct. 22 ruling which bans terminations due to fetal defects, ending one of the few legal grounds left for abortion in a staunchly Roman Catholic country with a deeply conservative government.
by Emma Reynolds, CNN
Sun November 1, 2020
(CNN)The Abortion Dream Team usually receives about 400 calls a month, from women seeking advice and information. Last week, the Polish advocacy group had 700 in the space of three days, according to team member Justyna Wydrzynska.
Some came from women who had just arrived at hospital to have abortions because of fetal defects -- only to be told to go home after Poland's highest court on October 22 imposed a near-total ban on abortion.
Institutions appear to enforce controversial ban despite legislation not yet taking effect
Fri 30 Oct 2020
Hospitals in Poland have been turning away women seeking abortions even though a court ruling that has instituted a near-total ban on terminations has not yet taken effect.
The ban, which outlaws one of the three narrow exceptions under which abortion is still permitted – that of severe foetal defects – has sparked huge protests in Poland.
OCT 26, 2020
On Thursday, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortions in cases where the foetus is diagnosed with serious and irreversible birth defects are unconstitutional. Given that these represent around 98% of the 1,000 or so legal terminations that take place annually in Poland, the ruling would in effect introduce a near total ban on abortion.
In response, tens of thousands of protesters – the majority of them women – have taken to the streets of towns and cities around the country, in defiance of coronavirus restrictions strictly limiting the size of gatherings.
Oct 26, 2020
by: Canadian Press
WARSAW, Poland — Women’s rights activists and many thousands of supporters held a fifth day of protests across Poland on Monday, defying pandemic restrictions to express their fury at a top court decision that tightens the predominantly Catholic nation’s already strict abortion law.
In Warsaw, mostly young demonstrators — women and men — with drums, horns and firecrackers blocked rush-hour traffic for hours at a number of major roundabouts. Some of them took off their shirts and stood topless on top of cars. Many held banners with an obscenity calling on the right-wing government to step down.
By VANESSA GERA
Oct 25, 2020
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Women’s rights activists furious over a tightening of Poland’s already restrictive abortion law staged protests outside and inside churches Sunday, disrupting Masses and finding themselves confronted with accusations of “barbaric” behavior.
With the coronavirus surging in Poland, large protests also erupted for a fourth straight night in cities large and small across the nation, including in Warsaw, Gdansk and Poznan, where police on horseback guarded a church.