‘Black Friday’ protestors oppose bid to tighten Poland’s abortion law
PR dla Zagranicy
Crowds of women on Friday demonstrated against plans to tighten Poland’s already-strict abortion laws.
'Black Friday' protest outside parliament in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
In what was dubbed the “Black Friday” protest, women gathered in central Warsaw chanting "Freedom, equality, abortion on demand."
The demonstrators, many dressed in black, marched to the Polish parliament carrying banners with slogans such as “Independent Polish women.”
At the same time, prayer meetings were held in towns across staunchly Catholic Poland in a "White Friday" pro-life campaign.
Under Poland's existing laws, abortions are allowed only if the pregnancy is the result of a crime such as incest or rape, threatens the life or health of the woman, or if the foetus is severely deformed or ill.
Anti-abortion activists have claimed that the last case allows for termination of children with Down Syndrome as well as other children who could otherwise live happy lives.
In January, the lower house of Poland's parliament sent a citizens’ bill to outlaw termination of disfigured and disabled foetuses to a parliamentary committee for review. The committee on Monday backed the bill, called “Stop Abortion.”
Last October, thousands of women wearing black took to the streets in cities across Poland demanding more liberal abortion laws and marking the original “Black Protest” of October 3, 2016, which made international headlines.
Poland’s abortion laws have been in place since 1993 and are among the strictest in the European Union.
Turnout figures for the “Black Friday” protest and the "White Friday" campaign were not immediately available.