Poland: Attempt to equate abortion with killing must be rejected

Ahead of tomorrow’s debate in the Polish parliament on a “stop abortion” bill that seeks to legally equate accessing or providing abortion services with killing, Esther Major, Amnesty International’s Senior Research Adviser for Europe, said

“The bill seeking to equate abortion with killing is the latest in a wave of cruel and discriminatory attacks on women’s human rights by Polish lawmakers which is putting the health and lives of women, girls and people in need of an abortion at greater risk.

“This push is part of a coordinated and systematic attempt to exacerbate the already pervasive stigma around access to sexual and reproductive rights in Poland.

“Poland already has a draconian and violative framework for abortion service provision. Poland’s parliamentarians must unequivocally reject this sinister bill, which if passed, would only increase the likelihood of women and girls suffering physical and psychological harm and even losing their lives.”


The new anti-abortion bill – proposed by Pro – The right to life Foundation – who also put forward a bill two years ago that would criminalize anyone who informs young people about sexuality and relationships – will be discussed in the Polish Parliament’s lower chamber during a sitting on 1-2 December.

The bill proposes to make providing an abortion a criminal offence under the existing provision on “involuntarily causing the death of a person” in Poland’s Criminal Code.

It also – crucially – proposes to criminalize obtaining an abortion under the existing Criminal Code provision on “causing injury to a person”, which, if resulting in “the person’s death” carries a minimum criminal penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment, a penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment or a life sentence.

The Bill also proposes to legally define an embryo as a “child” from the moment of conception.