P O L A N D P R O T E S T S – Day 7 of non stop protests nationwide.
S T O R I E S from K R A K O W
P O L A N D P R O T E S T S
Day 7 of non stop protests nationwide.
Thousands of women are protesting against Poland’s new abortion laws in cities across the country… here in Krakow, the city has been brought to an abrupt halt leaving commuters both by motor vehicles and public transport stranded.
A court ruling made last week Thursday, banned almost all abortions – with exceptions only for cases of rape, incest, or where the mother’s health is at risk. Abortions carried out when the fetes is malformed, which accounted for 98% of legal terminations last year, have now been outlawed.
Poland already had some of the EU’s strictest abortion laws.
Fewer than 2,000 legal terminations are carried out each year. But women’s groups estimate that up to 200,000 abortions are either performed illegally, or abroad.
Protests were held in Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow, among other cities, since Friday.
Today marks the SEVENTH night of protests in the country, where strict measures against coronavirus ban gatherings of more than 10 people in most major cities.
Why has the law changed?
The ruling of past Thursday was delivered by the Polish constitutional court. It said legislation allowing for the abortion of malformed fetuses’ was “incompatible” with the constitution.
It came after a legal challenge was launched by MPs from the governing nationalist PiS last year. A majority of the court’s judges were nominated by the same party. Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, the head of the Polish Episcopal Conference, and the Polish presidency both hailed the ruling. However, it was widely criticized by rights groups both inside and outside the country.
“Although Poland is one of Europe’s most staunchly Roman Catholic countries, opinion polls suggest there is a clear majority against making the abortion law stricter”, the BBC’s Adam Easton in Warsaw reported.
Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, said it was a “sad day for women’s rights”.
Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk – who now leads the center-right European People’s Party grouping after presiding over the European Council – also criticized the judgement.
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