Thousands of Poland’s people took to the streets across the nation on Monday for the fifth day of demonstrations against a court ruling that paves the way for an almost complete abortion ban.
People were bearing placards with messages such as ‘You have blood on your hands’ and ‘Fight the virus, not women’, with crowds of mostly young protesters blocking roads and roundabouts, bringing parts of several municipalities, including the capital of Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw and Szczecin, to a gridlock.
A woman called Patrycja said that every woman should have a choice, and it’s just outrageous that one person, or even five, should have the right to decide for everyone, as she held a placard that read ‘I am not an incubator’.
She said that she cried when she heard the ruling and that she couldn’t imagine that she or her child wouldn’t have the right to decide about their child and that it was tragic.
The demonstrations were kindled last week when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that a 1993 law permitting abortions in circumstances of extreme foetal disabilities was unconstitutional, paving the way for a dramatic tightening of Poland’s abortion laws, which were already among the most stringent in the EU.
Once the ruling comes into force, terminations will be permitted only in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s health or life is in danger. Such cases accounted for just 2.4 per cent of the 1,100 legal abortions that took place in Polish hospitals in 2019.
Since coming to power in 2015, the conservative nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) has made promoting traditional, Catholic values a central plank of its political platform.
Over the past 18 months, the party has ratcheted up its rhetoric against LGBT rights movements and backed away from a prior endeavour to tighten Poland’s abortion laws in 2016 only after huge street demonstrations.
He wrote on Twitter, both healthy and disabled children, apart from their duties, give a lot of joy and build family strength and through that, a strong Poland.
However, women’s rights groups say that the court ruling means that women would be forced to give birth to babies with severe and fatal conditions and no possibility of survival.
Others, such as Iwona Hartwich, an opposition MP with a disabled child, who led a campaign for greater support for disabled people and their families, accused PiS of failing the disabled and she wrote that PiS just promises and doesn’t live up to those pledges.
Polish law is already the strictest in the EU and this amendment forces women to carry to full term dead and heavily deformed fetuses and it’s previously been described by Amnesty International as torture, but respectively, I’m lost for words.
Abortions happen regardless whether a country permits it or not, and here on Planet Earth anti-abortion laws don’t stop abortions, and sadly women will go to any other source for an abortion, and this encourages women to seek help in less favourable conditions.
And a ban on abortion for gross foetal handicap is just plain immoral.
How could someone force a woman to carry a grossly handicapped foetus to term or until dies? And I understand that some might not support abortion on demand, but this tightening of the law is wicked and heartless.
It’s also stunningly stupid, and now women will consider seeking alternatives, which are very often dangerous, but it looks like Europe is returning to the 19th century along with back street abortions.