Following massive public outcry against a draconian anti-abortion bill that proposed to jail anyone involved, including the doctor and woman seeking the procedure, the Poland government on October 6 rejected the bill.
On October 3, Polish women came out on the streets to express their anger on the ban on abortion that was proposed by the government. Supporters of the #CzarnyProtest (Black Protest) urged women to boycott work, duties and any other responsibilities for the day.
A strictly Catholic country, the government of Poland had proposed a 5-year jail term for anyone found involved in abortion. The only exception will be if the woman’s life is at risk, she will then be allowed to abort the baby. The bill had sparked off strong reactions among the country’s women who took to the streets to show their discontent.
“Poland’s abortion law is already one of the most restrictive in Europe and these proposals are an all-out assault on women and girls and their right to make decisions about their own bodies,” Kasia Staszewska, director of Amnesty International UK’s Women’s Rights program, said in a statement. (reported latimes.com)
The parliament announced on October 6 that they have rejected the abortion bill, where the right-wing and liberal parliamentarians in the 450-member lower house joined forces to vote 352 against 58, reported indianexpress.com
Poland has seen changes in the abortion bill thrice in the last century. In 1932, the law was modified to allow abortion when a pregnancy endangered the life or health of the woman or was a result of a crime (rape or incest). In 1956 again, the law changed, permitting abortion on medical grounds and also if it would result in difficult living conditions for both the child and mother. In 1993, the final proposal came that banned the termination of all pregnancies unless they result from rape or incest, pose a health risk to the mother, or the foetus is severely deformed.
Understanding the public sentiment and the violation of freedom of choice, the decision to ban such a proposal is definitely a victory.
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