October’s court ruling outlaws abortions even in the case of foetal abnormalities
May 8, 2021
Derek Scally in Berlin
Justyna Wydrzynska draws an exhausted breath before describing her long days assisting the Polish women who call her each day for help.
A member of the ironically titled Abortion Dream Team, a collective which helps Polish women secure terminations abroad, Ms Wydrzynska said the women who reached her were living in a waking nightmare.
Human Rights Watch
March 31, 2021
(Berlin) – Bomb and death threats targeting at least seven groups in Poland for supporting women’s rights and the right to abortion are disturbing reminders of escalating risks to women’s human rights defenders in the country, Human Rights Watch, CIVICUS, and International Planned Parenthood Federation-European Network (IPPF-EN) said today.
The authorities should urgently investigate, protect the women targeted and hold those responsible for the threats accountable. Polish officials should also counter abusive misinformation campaigns targeting activists.
The PiS, the Catholic Church, and the Denial of Basic Human Rights
By Enora Lauvau
On Feb 21, 2021
The McGill International Review
Known to be a conservative Roman Catholic nation, Poland has long been home to fierce debate over abortion rights, with the two opposing sides consisting of traditionalists and those advocating a more progressive agenda. Tensions reached an all-time high last October, as the country’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled to further increase the restrictions on legal abortions. Already, Poland had some of the most stringent abortion laws in Europe, with abortion been legal in only three cases: fetal abnormalities, a direct threat to the woman’s health, and rape or incest. In a decision made on October 22, 2020, however, the court declared abortions in the case of congenital defects illegal, on the basis that the Polish Constitution protects human life. Considering that out of the mere 1,100 abortions that legally occurred in Poland last year, 98 per cent of them were for this reason, such a decision essentially ensures that those seeking abortions will either be forced to leave the country or perform them at home, both of which will put their health at risk and leave them vulnerable to legal prosecution. Already, women’s rights groups estimate that between 80,000 to 150,000 citizens get abortions outside of Poland’s health system each year.
Voices from a protest march in Warsaw over Poland's near-total abortion ban
By Kuba Kaminski, Antonia Mortensen and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN Sun January 31, 2021
Warsaw, Poland — The protesters who marched through the Polish capital's icy streets on Friday night had a clear message for the government over its imposition this week of a near-total ban on abortions: We will stand up for women's rights.
It was the third day of protests since the ruling came into effect -- and marked 100 days of protests since Poland's constitutional tribunal court first handed down its controversial ruling, sparking weeks of mass demonstrations.
By CNN's Antonia Mortensen and Reuters
Thu January 28, 2021
(CNN)The Polish government has imposed a near-total ban on abortions, including the termination of pregnancies with fetal defects, delivering a major blow to pro-choice advocates in one of Europe's most devout Catholic countries.
The unexpected announcement that the ruling would take effect on Wednesday sparked nationwide protests, despite a ban on gatherings due to Covid-19 restrictions. On Thursday the government extended the restrictions a further two weeks until February 14.
By Euronews with AFP, AP
New anti-government protests broke out in Polish cities on Wednesday, shortly after the country's top court confirmed its highly divisive ruling that will further tighten the predominantly Catholic nation’s strict anti-abortion law.
The ban on abortions in nearly all circumstances is to come into effect after the law was published in the Official Gazette on Wednesday.
Dec 19, 2020
By Malcolm Brabant, Ivette Feliciano
Video – 9:21 minutes
A major battle is underway over abortion rights in Poland. The country’s constitutional court, whose legitimacy has been questioned by some, has made it even harder for Polish women to get abortions. The move has been condemned by the European Parliament and human rights groups like Amnesty International. Special Correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports from the capital Warsaw.
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Support services in Poland and abroad say numbers increasing even before legislation is tightened
Shaun Walker and Anna Koslerova in Prague
Sun 13 Dec 2020
Polish women are increasingly being forced to travel abroad to seek abortions even though a court ruling to tighten the country’s already strict laws has not yet coming into force, activists have said.
The constitutional court ruled in October
that abortion was illegal even in cases where there were severe foetal
abnormalities. Around 1,000 abortions a year – almost all of the country’s
legal abortion procedures – are carried out for this reason.
Four years ago, Polish women went on strike over an abortion ban. Now, a younger, fiery generation has joined them.
Magdalena Muszel, Grzegorz Piotrowski
11 December 2020
The protests in Poland over the government’s plans to further tighten abortion restrictions began in October – they haven’t stopped since. Now, some are calling it the “cardboard revolution” in reference to the handmade placards that have become a distinctive feature of the protests. But what’s novel about the movement isn’t the ubiquitous signage – it’s the young age of its participants.
When looking through the crowds at the protests, it quickly becomes clear that most participants appear to be in their early twenties. That might explain the radicalism of the movement’s chants and slogans, but also it’s creativity and spontaneity.
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.”