Poland is one of the European countries with the strictest abortion laws. The country has decided to tighten even more its policy in this area by banning abortion in cases of serious malformation of the fetus.
A law that implies the ban of almost all legal cases of abortion in Poland
Poland already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. The country’s constitutional court ruled that this was not yet sufficient, and ruled that a 1993 law allowing abortion in cases of severe fetal disability was unconstitutional. Once this decision comes into force, abortions will only be allowed in Poland in cases of rape, incest or when the health or life of the mother is threatened. Note that these cases represented only 2.4% of the 1,100 legal abortion cases that took place in Polish hospitals in 2019.
This decision sparked outrage in the country, which resulted in protests in the streets of the country. According to BBC, riot police even had to intervene with demonstrators who gathered outside the home of Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The protests come as Poland grapples with a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak and restrictions limit the possibility of mass protests. Opposition pro-democracy and feminist politicians have also opposed this new ban.
Besides the Polish population, the Council of Europe also condemned this decision, reported The Guardian. The Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, in particular described this new regulation as ” sad day for women’s rights “. ” Removing the basis of almost all legal abortions in Poland amounts to a ban and violates human rights “, She added in a post on Twitter. Human rights groups also denounced the decision.
A controversial decision, but amply satisfactory for the party in power
Several of them, including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Human Rights Watch, even announced their intention to send independent observers to the hearing, reported Euronews. They said in a joint statement: “ In view of our long-standing and publicly expressed concerns regarding the human, women and girls’ rights at stake, we consider it essential to observe due process in this important case.. ”
Despite the controversy, Poland has the support of anti-abortion activists, including the Stop Abortion group. ” We have confirmation that the selection and murder of children suspected of genetic defects or diseases is not compatible with the Polish constitution. The right to life has been granted, the right to life has been recognized Said Kaja Godek, an activist for Stop Abortion. Despite protests, Polish President Andrzej Duda and the ruling Catholic party, Law and Justice (PiS), have expressed satisfaction with the decision, reported France 24. Meanwhile, opponents accused PiS of influencing the court in this decision, reported Reuters.