Clad in all black, Polish women made quite a statement as they took to Poland’s streets to boycott their jobs & schoolwork as part of a nationwide strike to protest a legislative proposal for a total ban on abortion. If such a proposal were to become law, women all over the country would die and even be put in jail as a result of suffering a miscarriage!
In what has been named “Black Monday,” thousands of women — and many men — marched on the streets of Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw in Poland on Oct. 3 to protest a total abortion ban that is currently on its way to become a law in the European country. However, the country ALREADY has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws, and opinion surveys show very little support for an even stricter law, according to ABC News.
Thousands and thousands of people protest in Warsaw against Poland’s plans for a total ban on abortion. https://t.co/HOni9hOjeo
— Liam O’Hare (@Liam_O_Hare) October 3, 2016
“They want to introduce an anti-abortion law which will mean in many cases, women will be sentenced to death. It will take away the sense of security they have, the treatment options available when pregnancy puts their lives or health in danger,” one protestor said, according to BBC.
The women wore black as a sign of mourning for their reproductive rights. And women who oppose the ban are staying away from work and school and refusing to do domestic chores, in a protest which was actually inspired by a women’s strike in Iceland back in 1975. In addition to the march, anti-abortion protests are being held all around the country.
And this ban, which has already cleared one parliamentary hurdle so far, is a super big deal. If it becomes a law, then it will make Poland’s abortion laws as restrictive as those in two other countries in Europe: Malta and the Vatican. As a result of this law, women found to have had abortions would be punished with a five-year prison term and doctors found to have assisted in an abortion would also be liable for jail time.
However, those aren’t the only people who would be punished. Critics say the tightening of the law could mean women who have a miscarriage are also investigated, on suspicion of having had the pregnancy terminated deliberately. After all, at early stages of pregnancy, miscarriages and abortions have incredibly similar symptoms.
One gynecologist also warned that the law, as it is worded now, could effectively lead to doctors being unwilling to do invasive prenatal tests and lifesaving operations for fear they’ll be charged with committing abortion if something goes wrong.
Professor Romuald Debski, who works at a hospital in Warsaw, told Polish media, “Whoever causes the death of the unborn child is punishable by imprisonment up to three years. If I have a patient with pre-eclampsia, who is 32 weeks pregnant, I will have to let her and her child die. I have to, because if I perform a caesarean section and the child dies, I may go to prison for three years, because the child was premature.” SO heartbreaking.
Under the existing law, abortion in Poland is banned except in cases where the woman’s life is in danger, the fetus is irreparably damaged, or the pregnancy results from rape or incest. The new proposal, now being examined by a parliamentary commission, would make ALL abortions illegal, even in cases of rape or when the woman’s life is at risk.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — do you stand with the women of Poland?