Polish Women Hail Victory in Abortion Standoff and Seek More

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Voices From Abortion Bill Protests

A offer to anathema abortions in Poland, even in cases of rape and when a woman’s life is in danger, sparked supposed Black Monday rallies in several European cities.

By NATALIA V. OSIPOVA on Publish Date October 3, 2016.

Photo by Radek Pietruszka/European Pressphoto Agency.

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WARSAW, Poland — Polish women are dogmatic feat in a thespian showdown that pitted them conflicting an anti-abortion organisation and a regressive supervision this week. Three days after a women donned black, boycotted work and staged hulk travel protests, lawmakers on Thursday voted strenuous conflicting a finish anathema on termination — a offer they had upheld usually dual weeks earlier.

The feat merely maintains a standing quo, that is one of a many limiting termination laws in Europe, nonetheless feminists wish they have gained a movement to conflict that next.

Agnieszka Graff, a distinguished feminist commentator, pronounced she and other feminists have struggled in vain for years to strech younger Polish women, and that this was a initial time she has seen them mobilized in outrageous numbers.

“The feeling on a travel was revolutionary. Women were indignant nonetheless they were also ecstatic during observant how many of us there were. The black garments combined this secret-but-open vigilance that connected strangers on a street,” Graff said.

While a women protested to urge a stream law, she believes there is a good possibility a events competence have a enigmatic outcome of formulating “a whole epoch of pro-choice women.”


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Members of a statute Law and Justice celebration voted dual weeks ago to cruise a offer — brought to council by an anti-abortion organisation — promulgation it to a parliamentary elect for serve consideration. At a same time, they voted to exclude to cruise a apart offer to liberalize a law.

In a finish reversal, lawmakers voted 352-58 on Thursday to reject a proposal. Law and Justice personality Jaroslaw Kaczynski warned lawmakers that serve restrictions risked bringing about a “exact conflicting effect.”

Whether a women activists are means to say their movement still stays to be seen — infrequently revolutions peter out in a long, tough toil of bringing amicable change.

But positively termination is a matter of widespread discuss in a approach that it hasn’t been given 1993, when a stream law took force after formidable negotiations between eremite and physical Poles. Often referred to as a “compromise,” a law bans termination in many cases, nonetheless does make exceptions in cases of rape or incest, when a woman’s life is in risk or a fetus is badly damaged.

In practice, though, many doctors are announced responsible objectors who exclude to perform even authorised abortions. Polish women seeking abortions — those who can means it — typically get them in Germany or other adjacent countries, or sequence termination pills online.

The offer for serve tightening a law came from a citizens’ beginning that collected some 450,000 signatures in this republic of 38 million. While upheld by some regressive Catholics, it was rarely unpopular with many Poles, with people balking during a thought that a teenage rape plant should be forced to have her baby, or that a lady whose health was badly compromised would be forced to lift to term. The offer also called for jail terms of adult to 5 years for women who sought abortions. The usually box in that a alloy could meddle in a woman’s pregnancy would be if a lady were failing and compulsory an puncture involvement to save her life.

With termination already bootleg in many cases, many women pronounced what fearful them a many in a offer was that it could have led doctors to be fearful to perform prenatal tests or that women who suffered miscarriages could tumble underneath rapist suspicion.

That is what stirred Karolina Lignar-Paczocha, 37, to enclose black on Monday, and — after dropping her 2-year-old daughter off during hothouse propagandize — join other women during a criticism in front of a statute celebration domicile in Warsaw.

“I had a really sour knowledge of carrying a miscarriage a few times and it’s terrible to consider a lady who suffers that would be questioned and tumble underneath suspicion,” pronounced Lignar-Paczocha, a sociologist. “I would never wish my daughter to face something like this.”


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Even worse, she said, would be a vigour a worse law could have put on doctors to secrete prenatal tests like amniocentesis, that can detect birth defects including Down Syndrome. The offer called for jail terms for doctors whose actions could outcome in abortions, and many feared that doctors would not wish to discharge such a test, that in itself carries a tiny risk of miscarriage, and whose formula prompt some women to find abortions.

What she wasn’t fighting for was a some-more magnanimous termination law, observant that she was during assent with a stream compromise.

That law outlines a outrageous change from a comrade era, when abortions were simply accessible and cheap. In a 1960s and early 1970s, when abortions were mostly criminialized in Sweden, Swedish women would even make a outing opposite a Iron Curtain into Poland for abortions.

The fact that currently it is Polish women who cranky in a other instruction was an irony remarkable during an romantic discuss Thursday dusk in a European Parliament on a conditions of women in Poland.

The law of1993 was partial of a broader dignified recoil in this mostly Catholic republic conflicting a “godless communism” that a republic had usually recently jarred off.

Only time will tell if a waves of story is branch nonetheless again.

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