Poland: Nationwide protests against further restrictions to abortion

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to gather in more than 40 cities across Poland today, following last week’s decision by Parliament to consider a bill to restrict access to abortion.

With the victory of the Black Protest still fresh in their minds, women are taking to the streets again
Monica Costa Riba, Amnesty International

 

 

The demonstrations come more than a year after the large-scale mobilization dubbed the Black Protest forced the government into an historic U-turn on a proposed abortion ban.

“With the victory of the Black Protest still fresh in their minds, women across Poland will once again take to the streets, standing together against proposals which would strip them of their rights and endanger their health,” said Monica Costa Riba, Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Campaigner for Europe.

Women across Poland are standing together against proposals which would strip them of their rights and endanger their health
Monica Costa Riba, Amnesty International

 

“Poland already has one of the most repressive abortion laws in Europe and further restrictions would be a dangerous backward step. Decisions about women’s bodies and health should be made by women themselves and not by politicians.”

Background

 

On 11 January the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament voted to refer a new legislative amendment that would restrict access to abortion to a committee for further consideration. It proposes the scrapping of the three grounds for abortion permitted in Polish law, namely in cases of severe or fatal foetal impairments.

Official statistics show that it is in such cases that the majority of abortions in Poland are carried out. Further restricting the law would force women to carry non-viable pregnancies to term, endanger their physical and mental health and force them to give birth to children often with no chances of survival.