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Polish MP: 'What difference is there if a child is conceived through rape?'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 05.04.2016 10:22
As a row about a possible total ban on abortion in Poland continues, an MP from the ruling Law and Justice party has attempted to brush off arguments that abortion should be allowed after rape.
Law and Justice MP Arkadiusz Czartoryski. Photo: wikimedia commons/Adrian GrycukLaw and Justice MP Arkadiusz Czartoryski. Photo: wikimedia commons/Adrian Grycuk

What difference is there if a child is conceived through rape or not?” argued MP Arkadiusz Czartoryski [no relation to the princely family].

The MP theorised that “many children were born as a result of the mass rape of Polish women by Germans following the Warsaw Uprising,” referring to the doomed 1944 insurrection against the Nazi occupiers.

According to Czartoryski, these children went on to be “good Poles,” who strode forth and “built Poland.”

Prime Minister Beata Szydło said on Thursday that she favours a complete ban, after the Church appealed to parliamentarians to vote through legislation.

However, following pro-choice demonstrations in cities across Poland on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin admitted that a total ban on abortion could backfire and lead to “a rebellion.”

Poland currently has among the strictest abortion laws in Europe. The procedure is only permissible if a woman's life or health is jeopardised by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape or incest, or if the foetus is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out within the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.

NGO the PRO Foundation (Fundacja Pro) is gathering signatures for a total ban as part of a so-called citizen's bill, under the slogan 'Stop Abortion'.

If 100,000 signatures are gathered, the draft legislation can be submitted to parliament.

Technically, the draft legislation can be dismissed at the first reading.

Gowin said on Sunday night that any changes to current laws should only take place after a very mature and calm discussion.” (nh/pk)

tags: abortion
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