Pro-choice activists hold Warsaw protest
PR dla Zagranicy
Pro-choice activists protested on Sunday on Warsaw's Castle Square, marking the International Day of Action for the Decriminalisation of Abortion.
Participants in the pro-choice demonstration on Sunday afternoon, Castle Square, Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
The protest was held under the slogan 'Women are are suffering in silence', and participants brandished images of faceless women, symbolising what they claimed was the anonymous plight of many women seeking abortion in Poland.
According to the Federation for Women and Family Planning, one of the co-organisers of the event, women in Poland are generally “ashamed and frightened” of relating their experiences in public.
Abortion is legal in predominantly Roman Catholic Poland, but the laws are stricter than those of most other EU countries.
At present, abortions are permissible if a woman's life or health are jeopardised by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape, or if the foetus is seriously malformed. In all these instances, the abortion must be carried out in the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.
The International Day for the Decriminalisation of Abortion has its roots in Latin America, where women have been calling on governments to decriminalise abortion for over twenty years. Latin American activists are also demanding an end to the stigmatisation of women seeking abortions. The date of 28 September was chosen as it marked Brazil's so-called Rio Branco law of 1871 (The Law of Free Birth), which emancipated all children born to slave parents. (nh)