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IPPF very concerned about the result of Polish parliament’s vote where abortion ban only avoided by 5 votes!

[International Planned Parenthood Federation, Hannover, 05 September 2011] On Wednesday 31 August, the Polish Parliament voted against a citizen’s bill to ban abortion merely by 5 votes. The bill was rejected by 191 parliamentarians while 186 voted in favour. It is particularly upsetting that such a huge number of Polish parliamentarians still voted in favour of the ban when both the relevant parliamentary committees and all the health professionals’ unions consulted on the bill asked for its rejection.

We are wondering how much fear about the forthcoming national elections in October has influenced the vote.

While IPPF EN welcomes such a victory, we remain nevertheless very concerned by the global situation of women’s rights and SRHR in Poland which following this vote appears even more fragile. According to IPPF Member Association, TRR, there was very scarce mobilization on the part of the Polish civil society.

Furthermore, a recent change in the NGO legislation to access State’s funds might have unexpected and far reaching results hampering the delivery of SRHR services to women in Poland.

We are also concerned about future developments in Europe. This radical debate took place in Poland while the country is holding the EU presidency, and this is also following the change of the Constitution in Hungary to protect ‘life from conception during the Hungarian Presidency of the EU.

IPPF EN congratulates the people who worked hard to ensure this victory, in particular TRR, the Federation for Women and Family Planning and Wanda Nowika, CFF and Human Rights Watch and all the organisations that offered their support.

We hope that the SRHR community will remain vigilant to support pro-choice champions in Poland.

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