MY BODY MY CHOICE
A ruling from Poland’s constitutional tribunal last week outlawed abortion in cases where the foetus is severely damaged or malformed. This in practice now means almost all forms of abortion are banned. this has sparked mass demonstrations against the bill on abortion ban. It exploded into a dramatic protest campaign that is now in other countries as women and men rise up to support the polish women’s right to choice and for a safer sexual health.
We are joining the protest in Kiddermister and Birmingham this weekend. Below you can see our posters are already.
What are they fighting for?
The protests pursue goals to legalize abortion, make all types of contraception affordable for all women and enact the related rights that today exist only in theory.
Poland already had some of the strictest abortion legislation in the EU. In the three decades since the end of communism the country has lived under what is called the “abortion compromise”. Public opinion favoured retaining liberal post-communist abortion laws. But politicians, bowing to the power of the Catholic church, tightened the law anyway in the mid-1990s without recourse to a referendum, leaving foetal abnormality as one of the only available routes for women seeking terminations. Since 1997, of approximately 1,000 legal terminations performed annually in Poland, the vast majority cite severe foetal abnormality. After last week’s ruling by the tribunal, this too will be illegal.
The street protests of recent days are on a scale not seen in Poland since 2016. Back then a grassroots women’s movement forced Kaczyński to back down from proposals to criminalise anyone seeking abortion. Clad in black, thousands took to the streets demanding that parliament reject the plans.