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PM slams decision to debate Poland in European Parliament

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 29.09.2016 15:26
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło on Thursday slammed a decision to hold a debate in the European Parliament about a bid to ban abortion in her country.
PM Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Paweł SupernakPM Beata Szydło. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Szydło said the decision by fraction leaders to hold a debate next Wednesday showed that the European Parliament is losing its credibility, that the EU treaty needs to be changed and the bloc needs to be reformed.

Her broadside was the latest in a rumbling row between Warsaw and EU politicians who have accused Poland’s conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party of eroding democracy and rights since coming to power last year. PiS has denied such charges.

The decision to hold the European Parliament debate comes after a controversial citizens’ bill to further tighten Poland’s already restrictive abortion laws was sent to the committee stage.

Szydło told reporters on Thursday: “If today the European Union has serious problems connected with Britain’s exit from the EU... with the migration crisis, but it constantly occupies itself with made-up issues... I am more and more convinced that it’s necessary to change the (EU) treaty, that the union needs to be reformed...”

She added: "Today, the European Parliament is simply starting to lose credibility."

Last week Polish MPs decided that a draft bill to introduce a complete ban on abortion would be discussed further in parliament.

The initiative by the Stop Abortion group was backed by some 450,000 signatures. It calls for a total ban on abortion - even in cases of rape and incest - and would make women who terminate pregnancies liable to jail time.

At the same time, members of parliament rejected a rival bid to liberalise abortion laws. The pro-choice proposal by the Save Women coalition had been backed by over 215,000 signatures.

It called for women to be allowed to terminate pregnancy on demand, up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

Passed in 1993, Poland’s current law bans terminations unless there was rape or incest, the pregnancy poses a health risk to the mother or the foetus is severely deformed.


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