President says abortion laws are abused in Poland
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish abortion laws, which allow for termination of pregnancies when foetuses are severely damaged, are being abused, Polish President Andrzej Duda has told Catholic broadcaster TV Trwam.
Duda said removing deformed and seriously ill foetuses was “eugenic abortion”, adding that “decidedly tougher legal solutions” needed to be introduced.
A group of pro-life activists in September launched a “Stop Abortions” petition to toughen anti-abortion laws so that it would be forbidden to terminate pregnancies when the foetus is deformed.
The petition has been backed by Science Minister Jarosław Gowin and Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki, both from the ruling conservative Law and Justice party which backed Duda in his race for the presidency in 2015.
Meanwhile, an organisation of pro-choice activists called “Save Women 2017” has drawn up a bill which would relax Polish abortion laws, subsidise contraception and make the so-called morning-after emergency contraception pill available over the counter, after it became available by prescription only earlier this year.
An abortion debate saw massive demonstrations across the country last year. Thousands of women took to the streets armed with black umbrellas or went to work dressed in black in protest against moves to make abortions in Poland illegal altogether, while anti-abortion activists at counter-rallies brandished posters with pictures of terminated foetuses.
Demonstrators returned to the streets exactly a year later on 3 October.
Poland’s abortion laws have been in place since 1993 and are among the strictest in the European Union.
They allow for pregnancies to be terminated in only three cases: when the life or health of the mother is in danger; when the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape; and when the foetus is severely and untreatably damaged. (vb/pk)