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Poland: Women’s Rights Activists Protest Against Abortion Ban

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Polish women’s rights activists disrupted church services in Poland, on Sunday, October 25. They were protesting against a recent court ruling that tightened the country’s already restrictive abortion laws. As per reports, Polish police officials resorted to the use of tear gas and manhandled the female protesters.

Poland Tightens Already Strict Abortion Laws

The Washington Post reported that on Thursday, October 22, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal’s new ruling  illegalised the abortion of a foetus with congenital defects. The new ruling amounts to a near legal abortion ban in the country except for special cases like incest, rape, or if a pregnancy endangers a woman’s health.

Women’s Strike, a Polish abortion rights group, has called for countrywide protests against the ruling. The group has stipulated that the amended law will encourage illegal abortion procedures and force women to carry foetuses with slim chances of survival for nine months. The Associated Press reported that a large majority of the 1, 100 abortions performed in Poland in 2019 were based on fetal defects.

Also Read: Abortion Laws For Women: Why Is The Womb So Heavily Legislated?

What You Should Know: 

  • Polish women’s rights activists disrupted church services in the country on Sunday, October 25, to protest against a new ruling that  illegalised the abortion of a foetus with congenital defects.
  • In recent months, Poland’s Catholic Church has frequently been the target of Polish liberal groups’ protests. 
  • The protesters plan to continue demonstrating even though the Polish government recently  announced a nationwide lockdown amidst escalating coronavirus cases.

Also Read: Women Protesters Demand Legalisation Of Abortion In Mexico

Polish Women’s Rights Activist Protest In Churches Against Strict Abortion Laws

Women’s rights activists disrupted Sunday masses across various Polish cities – Warsaw, Przeworsk, and Poznań – to protest against the new ruling. In Poznań, the demonstrators chanted, “We have had enough.” They also graffitied “Hands off women,” on the walls of a basilica in Przeworsk.  Furthermore, a young woman stood near a Warsaw church’s altar with a sign that said “Let’s pray for the right to abortion.” Religious congregations assembled at these churches rebuked the protesters by chanting, “Barbarians.” Later, protests also broke outside Poland’s presidential palace.

Poland’s Catholic Church has frequently been the target of Polish liberal groups’ protests. As per reports, pro-LGBT activists recently smeared Polish churches with rainbow colours and the names of teenagers who have reportedly died by suicide after being bullied because of their sexual orientation.

Protesters Remain Undeterred Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Poland recently announced a nationwide lockdown amidst escalating Coronavirus cases. However, demonstrators remain undeterred. Marta Lempart, Women’s Strike’s founder, said, “I think they thought we wouldn’t protest in corona … This is not a legal ruling, this is a political decision dressed up as a legal ruling.” Lempart said that her group plans to continue protesting by striking from work and blocking roads in the coming weeks. Additionally, they also plan to challenge the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights.

Also Read: South Korea Decides To Legalise Abortion Within 14 Weeks Without Reason

Picture Credits: BBC

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV