IPPF EN supports Polish women's right to bodily autonomy

8th April 2016
Czarny Protest Brussels

IPPF EN has joined a call to action to support the rights of Polish women, severely threatened by the proposition of a revised anti-abortion law.

The draft proposition has been endorsed by the Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and the leader of the governing PiS party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The new proposal would introduce a complete ban on abortion.  The current abortion law in Poland is already one of the most restrictive in the EU, allowing women to terminate pregnancy only in three extreme cases: when her life and/or health are threatened, when the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act, or when the foetus is severely damaged.

The draft law will not only introduce a complete ban on abortion but a new category into the criminal code – “prenatal murder” – which will introduce a prison sentence of between three to five years for women, doctors and those helping to perform an abortion. This citizen's initiative is currently awaiting a decision by the President of the Lower Chamber of the Parliament on whether it will be registered. The deadline for this decision is Monday, April 11th. If successful, the “Stop Abortion” committee will then have three months to collect 100,000 signatures to ensure that the law will be debated, and most likely voted on, by the Polish Parliament dominated by PiS. Such a ban would lead to the endangerment of the life and health of women, an increase in maternal mortality and an increase in unsafe and clandestine abortions.The draft law doesn’t make any reference to the protection of a woman’s life, health and wellbeing. 

Last weekend’s demonstrations against further restrictions on the right to abortion brought thousands of Polish women and men to the streets of Warsaw and other Polish towns. A big protest in front of the Polish Parliament is due to take place this Saturday, April 9th.

To support the call to action, see ASTRA’s Facebook event page: Porozumienie ODZYSKAĆ WYBÓR (Regaining Choice Coalition) where you are encouraged to submit a photo to the event wall.