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.