This is huge! After thousands of women took to Poland’s streets in protest, the country’s parliament has overwhelmingly voted to REJECT a controversial bill that would call for a total ban on abortion. The ban was so severe that even in cases where the mother’s health is seriously endangered, an abortion would STILL not be permitted! Get all the details here.
After growing protests from Polish women and a debate in the European Parliament, on Oct. 6, Poland’s governing Law and Justice party decided to back away from a proposed law that would make virtually all abortions illegal. And this is HUGE news for not only those in Poland, but all over the world! Even better, the government said that the massive protests against the bill had given ministers “food for thought.” Talk about power in numbers!
After women came out in mass protest, Poland’s government backtracks on its proposal to ban abortion. pic.twitter.com/tcByL6T5Me
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 5, 2016
“Observing the social developments, we have come to a conclusion that this legislation will have an opposite effect to the one that was intended,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the right-wing party, said. “This is not the right way to proceed.” And we totally agree! MPs ended up voting to reject the bill by 352 votes to 58.
Poland already has among the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, providing exceptions only in cases of incest, rape and nonviable fetuses, or when the mother’s life is threatened. However, as a result of this NEW law, women who undergo abortions would have been punished with a five-year prison term, and doctors found to have assisted in an abortion would also be liable for jail time.
But those aren’t the only people who would have been punished. Critics say the new ban would mean women who have a miscarriage are also investigated, on suspicion of having had the pregnancy terminated deliberately. Because at early stages of pregnancy, miscarriages and abortions have incredibly similar symptoms.
The bill came from an anti-abortion citizens’ initiative that gathered some 450,000 signatures. It was initially backed by the Catholic Church, but bishops then said they could not support one of the proposals, to jail women who had an abortion. But thanks to the 100,000 people, mostly women, protesting against the proposal in cities across Poland on Oct. 3, the ban is no longer on the table.
Prime Minister Beata Szydlo distanced herself from a change to the law and Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin moved to reassure women on Oct. 5 that a total ban would NOT get through. “Abortion will certainly not be banned when the woman is the victim of rape or if her life or her health is in danger,” he insisted. We’re glad to see that that’s true!
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — are you glad that the abortion ban in Poland is no longer on the table to become a law?