07 Feb 2018

Polish pro-choice activists try new strategy

With parliament clearly hostile, pro-choice activists have changed course. Their new campaign will address women and emphasize that abortion is common, and that they have no reason to be ashamed.

Zuzanna Piechowicz
Zuzanna Piechowicz Tok FM, Poland
Source: Tok FM
Polish pro-choice activists try new strategy - NewsMavens
Wikimedia commons

Why this story matters:

After a draft law for a less restrictive abortion criteria failed to go through because too few liberal deputies showed up to vote, the morale of pro-choice activists was at an all time low. But now they have resurfaced with a new strategy: a campaign addressed directly to women who have had abortions.

In Poland, 96% of the population is Catholic, 49% of voters support the pro-life party in power, and one out of three Polish women had an abortion. These numbers set a dreary scene for woman who have terminated a pregnancy. Despite Pope Francis's benevolent attitude towards women who have undergone an abortion, the local branch of the Catholic Church remains fiercely condemning.

The pro-choicer's decision to strengthen women who have made such a choice to lessen their burdon seems an inspired one. Time will tell if they will achieve more by addressing women directly than by fighting tooth and nail in an indifferent parliament.

health, women's issues, politics

Details from the story:

  • As part of the campaign, billboards with the slogan "Have you had an abortion? You're not alone" appeared on the streets of Polish cities.
  • The aim of the initiative is to show that women undergo abortions every day and will continue to do so, regardless of what politicians decide, Natalia Broniarczyk, one of the campaign's organizers, wrote on her GB profile. 
  • A 2013 CBOS survey revealed that every third Polish woman had an abortion. That's 6 million women.
  • According to the current law, abortion is legal in three cases: when the pregnancy is a result of a rape, when the woman's life or health is in danger, and if the fetus is irreparably damaged.
  • At the beginning of January, MPs voted on two civic projects that proposed changing the abortion law. "Let's Save Women" was an attempt at liberalizing the existing regulations, while "Stop abortion" proposed banning abortion in the case of irreversible birth defects. The former one was voted down and the latter got green light and was submitted for futher work. 

-- edited by the NewsMavens team

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