24 Oct 2017

Poland demands freedom to completely outlaw abortion 

The Polish foreign ministry to the United Nations: the Polish government wants rules on abortions gone from international treaties.

Zuzanna Piechowicz
Zuzanna Piechowicz Tok FM, Poland
Source: Tok FM
Poland demands freedom to completely outlaw abortion  - NewsMavens
A fetus at 12 weeks. Wolfgang Moroder/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Why this story matters:

The Polish government has demanded that the UN get rid of protections from punishment for women who have abortions. The Polish foreign ministry wants to get rid of the state's obligation to ensure women have access to abortions when the pregnancy causes suffering, especially when it's the result of a crime or when the fetus is incurably and untreatably damaged.

That means the foreign ministry's stance is even more radical than the laws currently in place in Poland, which while among the strictest in the EU, allow for abortions in three cases: when the pregnancy is the result of rape, when the woman's life or health is at risk, and when the fetus is seriously deformed.

Abortion is back in the public debate in Poland -- again.

President Andrzej Duda has said he supports a ban on abortions when the fetus has genetic deformities. In an interview for Gość Niedzielny (Sunday Visitor, a Catholic weekly) he said:

"It is unacceptable that these children can be killed in Poland".

Prime Minister Beata Szydło and the leader of the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński also oppose this, calling it "eugenic abortion".

So there is a petition going around, getting signatures on a civic bill to put a ban on all "eugenically" motivated abortions. The "Stop Abortion" committee wants abortion law reform and specifically wants tossed out the law which allows for a fetus with likely disability to be terminated.

Of course, the whole ruckus is only the top of the iceberg when it comes to abortion controversies on Poland.

Click here to read how Polish women stopped the government from passing radical abortion laws in 2017, and how their struggle continues in 2018

Details from the story:

  • The Polish government wants to get change what international treaties say about abortion
  • The Polish government's stance on abortion is more restrictive than the law 
  • The Law and Justice party leader, the prime minister from said party, and the president, backed by said party, have all backed a bill to ban "eugenic abortion"

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NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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