Poland’s Abortion Ban Protests Changed the Country Forever

Restrictions are still in place, but the Catholic consensus that dominated Polish politics is over.

By Joy Neumeyer
NOVEMBER 8, 2021

In October 2020, after Poland’s constitutional court imposed a near-total ban on abortion, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. Demonstrators across the country were united by the lightning bolt symbol of the All-Polish Women’s Strike and a simple slogan: “Fuck off.”

One year later, their campaign may seem at first glance to have reached a dead end. The court’s decision remains in effect, and Women’s Strike leaders face criminal charges for actions committed during the protests. But the movement’s apparent defeat conceals its deep impact. The Catholic consensus that dominated Polish politics since the fall of communism is over, with far-reaching effects: Public acceptance of abortion is up, support for the ruling party has fallen, and progressive activists are building new coalitions.

Continued: https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/11/08/poland-abortion-ban-women-strike-catholic-religion-progressive-politics/


Opposition leader blames woman’s death on ‘in-human’ abortion law

NEWS & POLITICS
NOVEMBER 05, 2021

Donald Tusk, the leader of Poland's main opposition party, Civic Platform (PO), has said that “ideology” and an “in-human law” were responsible for the death of a pregnant woman who failed to get an abortion.

The 30-year-old woman died in a hospital in the southern town of Pszczyna in September but her case came to light when a lawyer working on behalf of her family published details.

Continued: https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/opposition-leader-blames-womans-death-on-in-human-abortion-law-25823


Polish women’s groups work to circumvent new abortion regime

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.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/polish-women-s-groups-work-to-circumvent-new-abortion-regime-1.4558721


Poland: Escalating Threats to Women Activists

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.

Continued: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/31/poland-escalating-threats-women-activists


Poland’s Recent Abortion Ban

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.

Continued: https://www.mironline.ca/polands-recent-abortion-ban/


Poland – ‘Women’s rights are being trampled’

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.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/31/europe/poland-abortion-law-protests-intl/index.html


Poland puts new restrictions on abortion into effect, resulting in a near-total ban on terminations

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.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/28/europe/poland-abortion-restrictions-law-intl-hnk/index.html


Poland abortion law: Protesters take to streets again as near-total ban comes into force

By Euronews with AFP, AP
Updated: 28/01/2021

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.

Continued: https://www.euronews.com/2021/01/27/poland-s-ban-on-most-abortions-to-come-into-force-sparking-fresh-protests


A major battle is brewing over abortion rights in Poland

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.

Read the Full Transcript

Continued: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/a-major-battle-is-brewing-over-abortion-rights-in-poland


Polish women travel abroad for abortions ahead of law change

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.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/13/polish-women-travel-abroad-for-abortions-ahead-of-new-law