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Cause for alarm: further attempts to restrict access to abortion in Poland

[Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning, Brussels 19 September] The anti-choice civic bill which aims to ban all abortions in case of fetal malformation will be the subject of first reading in the Polish Parliament on 26th of September. The civic bill collected over 400,000 signatures of support and was proposed by the “Stop Abortion” initiative. Two years ago a bill banning all abortions was passed on its first reading and was only rejected in the second reading by a small majority of votes. The restrictive law has many supporters in the conservative wing of the ruling party, the Civic Platform.

The current law allows abortion only in three cases: in case of rape/incest, in case of a threat to the woman’s health and in cases of fetal malformation. According to official numbers from the Ministry of Health, there were 669 abortions in 2011, none resulting from rape or any other crime. This figure, in a country of over 38 million inhabitants, illustrates how difficult it is to access a legal abortion in practice. The Polish Government constantly ignores the harmful effects of the current legislation.

Polish ASTRA member, The Federation for Women and Family Planning, has come forward with a call to action “NO to further restrictions in the anti-abortion law” which has been circulated in the media. The Federation is organizing a press conference on 24 September as well as is involved in facilitating short training session for left-wing party members in order to provide these MPs with pro-choice arguments. The ruling party MPs were also approached.

The feminist and pro-choice allies are organizing a public gathering and demonstration in front of the Polish Sejm. Additionally, activists are going to reach out to politicians directly, presenting arguments for maintaining the present legislation as well as sending emails to MPSs.

Facebook event (Polish only)

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