The network of organisations seeking to influence abortion policy across Europe

The ultra-Christian, anti-abortion and far-right network is allegedly seeking to replicate anti-choice efforts in the US

Angela Giuffrida in Rome and Flora Garamvolgyi
Thu 26 May 2022

A network of ultra-Christian, anti-abortion and far-right organisations is building momentum in its quest to influence abortion policy in Europe as the US supreme court considers striking down Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalised the procedure in America.

Elements of the network originally came together under the name Agenda Europe, holding yearly summits across the continent between 2013 until at least 2018, by which time it had grown to comprise 300 participants, including politicians and Vatican diplomats.


USA – Flurry of New Laws Move Blue and Red States Further Apart

A wave of legislation, particularly in the West, is making states “not only a little different but radically different,” says one expert on government.

By Shawn Hubler and Jill Cowan
April 3, 2022

SACRAMENTO — After the governor of Texas ordered state agencies to investigate parents for child abuse if they provide certain medical treatments to their transgender children, California lawmakers proposed a law making the state a refuge for transgender youths and their families.

When Idaho proposed a ban on abortions that empowers relatives to sue anyone who helps terminate a pregnancy after six weeks, nearby Oregon approved $15 million to help cover the abortion expenses of patients from out-of-state.


‘Roe v. Wade’ Isn’t Just About Abortion

Roe and other cases paved the way for critical decisions the Supreme Court has made about the LGBTQ community. And the fight for our rights is ongoing.

Jun 18, 2021
Elliott Kozuch, Rewire News

Pride Month is a time to celebrate our collective power as a queer community and the gains we’ve achieved. It’s also a time to reflect on those gains to ensure we never stop working toward equality and justice. This year, especially, that means exposing the far-right lawmakers, activists, and judges who want to roll back our rights at every level.


USA – 2021 Is on Track to Become the Most Devastating Antiabortion State Legislative Session in Decades

Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
Lauren Cross, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: April 30, 2021

Right-wing ideologues are engaging in a shock and awe campaign against abortion rights that is largely getting lost against the background of a broader attack on other basic rights, including a wave of voter suppression laws and attacks on LGBTQ people.

The number of
abortion restrictions—and specifically bans on abortion designed to directly
challenge Roe v. Wade and the U.S. constitutional right to abortion—that have
swiftly been enacted over the past four months is unprecedented. If this trend
continues, 2021 will end up as the most damaging antiabortion state legislative
session in a decade—and perhaps ever.


In Honduras, the Right Is Permanently Locking in Its Abortion Ban

Jacobin Magazine, March 1, 2021

In a country
that is already home to some of the worst restrictions on women’s rights, the
Honduran Congress voted last month to lock in its bans on abortion and gay
marriage, making them almost impossible to overturn. It’s a reminder that, as
the feminist green tide washes over much of Latin America, there is still much
work to be done.

On January 28, on the heels of Honduran Women’s Day (January 25), the far-right
Nationalist Party–led Congress dealt a blow to feminists, LGBT people, and
countless Hondurans who believe in equality and human rights. With little
notice and virtually no public input, the Congress voted to amend the constitution
by enshrining the “right to life at conception” and by instituting a narrow
definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” Rushing the vote along
partisan lines, normal rules of procedure were suspended, and even advocates
closely following these issues were blindsided by the alacrity of the
fundamental change to the nation’s most important document.


Four reasons why Poland’s war on abortion should scare you

This is not just ‘Poland being Poland’. These actions are illegal, inhumane and could spread across Europe – and this is just the beginning.

Neil Datta
3 February 2021

Poland’s near-total abortion ban came into effect last week when it was published in the country’s official government gazette. Polish hospitals and medical practitioners are no longer allowed to carry out an abortion in the case of a foetal anomaly. Such cases made up the great majority of terminations performed in the country, which, even before the new ban, already had the harshest abortion law in Europe – now, abortions are only permitted in cases of rape and incest and when the mother’s life or health are endangered. 

What’s happening in Poland right now shouldn’t be seen as merely typical behaviour by the Polish state. This is not just ‘Poland being Poland’. These actions are illegal, inhumane and could infiltrate the rest of Europe – and this is just the beginning.


Model Anja Rubik poses naked on three covers for Vogue Poland’s Power of Women issue to protest against country’s new tighter abortion laws

27 November 2020

Social media users have praised Vogue Poland for supporting pro-choice campaigners following the ruling to ban abortions in Poland in all but exceptional cases.

Polish model Anja Rubik, 37, stripped off to appear on three different covers for the glossy publication entitled 'The Power of Women', in response to the country now having some of the most draconian abortion laws in Europe, which sparked nationwide protests last month.


Women Take To The Streets For Abortion Rights In Poland

9 Nov 2020
Shamim Malekmian

It started as a battle for women’s bodily autonomy – and against the domination exerted by the Roman Catholic Church in Poland. But – especially for young people – it has become a wider revolutionary struggle in opposition to the rise of far-right nationalism, and of neo-Nazi thugs. We talk to women’s activists living in Poland and in Ireland about the battle so far...

Protests erupted across Poland recently, triggered by the introduction of a near-total ban on abortion by the country’s largely Roman Catholic, right-wing Government. When Julia Marciniak saw what was happening in the country where she was born, she decided to use her holidays to travel home. She was hoping that she would be there for an uprising.


Poland – Abortion ban on demand

Marta Bucholc, Maciej Komornik
6 November 2020

The abortion ruling of Poland’s politically servile Constitutional Tribunal was a debt repaid to Law and Justice’s rightwing Catholic constituency after its re-election last year. The reaction has been the biggest wave of demonstrations in the country since 1989. But the protest movement may be less of a threat to the government than conflicts within the rightwing alliance itself.

On 22 October 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland ruled abortion on the grounds of foetal abnormality to be unconstitutional. This effectively eliminated the possibility for legal abortion. Of the 1110 pregnancies legally terminated in Poland in 2019, a very small number in any case, 97% were because of foetal abnormalities. Should the ruling take effect, it would mean that abortion will only be permitted if a pregnancy is a result of a crime (such as rape or incest), or if it poses a danger to the pregnant woman’s life or health. The doctors and other people soliciting or assisting the termination of a pregnancy for foetal abnormalities would be criminally liable.


Poland’s abortion protests—democratic standards at stake

The passion behind the demonstrations signifies a battle for basic democratic standards in a world of creeping authoritarian temptations.

by Maria Skóra
30th October 2020

On October 22nd, the Constitutional Court in Poland made an unprecedented decision, declaring abortion due to foetal defects unconstitutional. Because around 90 per cent of all legal abortions in the country are performed on this criterion, upon entering into force this ruling will in practice drastically limit access to safe termination of pregnancy. It stands in opposition to medical science and to the will of the majority of the population, which—according to the polls—supports the existing abortion regime, already one of the strictest in Europe.

This battle started as early as 2016, with ‘pro-life’ associations lobbying the parliament for an amendment to the law. They failed then but the change has now effectively been introduced by the Constitutional Court. The new status quo is not only controversial on its merits but also because the court’s judicial neutrality, vis-à-vis the governing Law and Justice Party (PiS), has long been questioned.