Abortion restrictions approved by the Polish government
New abortion restrictions in Poland! At the moment abortion is a very controversial topic in Poland. After the recent judgment of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, almost all abortions are totally prohibited. Poland’s top court has ruled that abortions in cases of fetal defects are unconstitutional. This topic has been an issue for most women since 22 October 2020 when the Polish Constitutional Tribunal has announced that abortion was inconsistent with the Polish Constitution. This simply meant that the government plans to tighten the abortion restrictions/law in Poland.
On October 28, the police have recorded 410 protests across hundreds of towns in Poland in which over 430,000 people participated. According to some commentators, these were the largest street demonstrations in the history of Poland. The women have used the thunder symbol as part of the National Women’s Strike which is a sign of anger, indignation, but also strength and speed. This sign is commonly mistaken with a sign representing abuse. However, it has nothing to do with this.
Abortion has been prohibited in Poland until 1932. However, since 1932 with a break during the German occupation, a pregnancy interruption was only allowed in certain circumstances. The Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Permissibility of Abortion Act of 7 January 1993 have allowed women to interrupt their pregnancy in the below circumstances:
- Pregnancy poses a threat to the life or health of the pregnant woman (no restrictions regarding the age of the fetus)
- There is a justified suspicion that the pregnancy was a result of a prohibited act (up to 12 weeks from the beginning of pregnancy)
- Prenatal tests or other medical indications indicate a high probability of severe and irreversible impairment of the fetus or an incurable life-threatening disease
At the moment due to new abortion restrictions, women are no longer allowed to interrupt their pregnancy in case of a high probability of severe and irreversible impairment of the fetus or an incurable life-threatening disease. On the evening of 27 January 2021, few hours after the Constitutional Tribunal ruling was formally published in the “Dziennik Ustaw” (Journal of Laws), street protests have re-started. The participants have gathered among others in Warsaw at the seat of the Constitutional Tribunal from where they have walked to the headquarters of PIS (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – Law and Justice party).
The protestants are very angry with the new abortion restrictions. Many have signs saying “My choice is not your sin”, “I think, I feel, I decide” and many more. All protestants feel like their option to decide has been taken away from them. Moreover, women with a pregnancy that has or may have a high probability of severe and irreversible impairment of the fetus or an incurable life-threatening disease will have to carry the pregnancy till the end. On some occasions, many of those babies can be born dead or die within a few minutes, hours, days, or weeks causing their parents to suffer even more.
I urge you to view the video below. Although it is about abortion bans in the U.S. it has a lot in common with the current situation in Poland.
Please feel free to share your opinion on abortion. I personally am against abortion, but not in all three circumstances mentioned above. We should all have the right to decide and no one should be taking this away from anyone.
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