Hundreds demonstrate against proposed abortion ban
PR dla Zagranicy
Hundreds of pro-choice campaigners have protested in front of the Sejm lower house of Polish Parliament against a proposal for a total ban on abortion.
People attending a pro-choice demonstration in Warsaw, September 18, 2016. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
The demonstration was held on Sunday under the slogan “Five to twelve – save women.”
Representatives of different political groups, including the Razem (‘Together’) party, the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD), and the Greens attended the gathering.
Well-known Polish artists, including musician Kasia Nosowska and actress Maja Ostaszewska were also in front of the Sejm’s building on Sunday to show their support for the initiative.
A pro-choice demonstration in Warsaw, September 18, 2016. The banner reads: “A country's freedom is measured by women’s freedom.” Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
The "Save Women" committee has collected more than 215, 000 signatures under a pro-choice bill, which would allow abortion on demand up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Some 450,000 thousand Poles have signed a rival bill, drafted by the "Stop Abortion" committee, introducing a full ban on pregnancy terminations.
Under the bill, anyone who knowingly causes the death of an unborn child would face a prison term of between three months and five years.
The proposals are to be discussed by Parliament next week.
The world’s largest human rights organisation Amnesty International, sent a letter to Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo in June, calling on the government to reject the pro-life legislation.
Poland’s abortion laws are among the most restrictive in Europe. Abortion 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 if the foetus is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out within the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy. (ał)