Poles stage new protests over planned abor­tion re­stric­tions

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Pol­ish women again donned black and took to the streets yes­ter­day, launch­ing an­other round of protests against ef­forts by the na­tion’s con­ser­va­tive lead­ers to tighten Poland’s al­ready re­stric­tive abor­tion law.

A large group gath­ered yes­ter­day out­side the par­lia­ment build­ing in War­saw, chant­ing “We have had enough!”

Pol­ish me­dia re­ported that sim­i­lar protests were hap­pen­ing in cities and towns across the coun­try.

The street protests are ex­pected to con­tinue to­day, when some women also plan­ning a strike, boy­cotting jobs and classes.

Sim­i­lar protests took place ear­lier this month against a pro­posal for a to­tal ban on abor­tion. But law­mak­ers re­jected that pro­posal af­ter mas­sive crowds of women dressed in black staged streets protests un­der their um­brel­las in the rain.

The lat­est round of demon­stra­tions, held un­der the slo­gan “We are not putting our um­brel­las away,” was or­gan­ised in re­sponse to a new pro­posal that would fall short of a to­tal ban, but out­law abor­tions in cases where fe­tuses are un­vi­able or badly dam­aged.

Jaroslaw Kaczyn­ski, the head of the rul­ing Law and Jus­tice party, said re­cently he wants the law to en­sure that women carry their fe­tuses to term even in cases of Down Syn­drome or when there is no chance of sur­vival. The move would al­low for bap­tisms and buri­als, Kaczyn­ski said.

His so­cially con­ser­va­tive party won par­lia­men­tary and pres­i­den­tial elec­tions last year with the sup­port of Poland’s pow­er­ful Ro­man Catholic church, Catholic me­dia out­lets and re­li­gious vot­ers. Many ob­servers see the at­tempts to fur­ther re­strict abor­tion as a way for the party to re-pay its debt to its re­li­gious base.

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