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Women and young doctors protest in Warsaw

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 18.06.2016 19:24
Two demonstrations passed through Warsaw on Saturday – a Dignity March for women’s rights and a rally by junior doctors demanding higher pay.
Women's protest in Warsaw. Photo: Paweł Supernak

Women's protest in Warsaw. Photo: Paweł Supernak

At the Dignity March, demonstrators highlighted issues such as violence against women, problems with alimony enforcement and plans to tighten Poland’s already-restrictive abortion laws.

"For those in power, we have the following message: stop trying to restrict abortion laws. If you do not, you will see what women’s anger and female solidarity really mean," said one of the organizers.

It was not immediately known how many turned out to protest, but 4,100 people declared on Facebook they would be taking part, with another 5,600 saying they were interested in the event.

Current abortion laws in Poland only allow the procedure in cases of foetal abnormality, rape and incest or if there is a risk to the health of the mother.

But with the tacit backing of some in Poland's ruling, conservative Law and Justice party, the pro-life movement is garnering support for a total ban on abortion, which could be submitted to parliament as a so-called citizen's bill if 100,000 signatures are collected in three months.

Meanwhile, the Polish government has stopped state funding for IVF treatment and plans to reclassify the morning-after pill as prescription-only medication.

Doctors demonstrate in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Also on Saturday, resident doctors - young physicians who are training to be specialists - marched in Warsaw, demanding higher pay.

A delegation of protesters was received by the deputy health minister, then the protesters staged a rally in front of the prime minister’s office.

The doctors say their pay, ranging from PLN 3,170 (EUR 717, USD 809) to PLN 3,890 gross a month is not enough to live and study on. There are currently 16,200 such doctors training in Poland. (mol/pk)

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