Thousands join demonstrations against governments new effort to restrict access
Thousands of people have joined protests in Warsaw and other Polish cities against the most recent attempt by the conservative government to restrict access to abortion.
In Warsaw on Friday, people held banners that read “Free choice” and” A female is a human being”, and chanted mottoes demanding reproductive freedom.
Poland has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. The procedure is allowed only if the life of the foetus is at risk, there is a grave menace to the health of the mother or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
An attempt to ban all abortions in 2016 sparked mass nationwide protests by females garmented in black, forcing the government to abandon the scheme.
The latest proposed legislation would allow procedures in cases where the mother’s life was at risk or the pregnancy resulted from international crimes, but would ban abortions of foetuses with congenital disorders, including Down’s syndrome.
In Warsaw, protesters gathered at the seat of the influential Roman Catholic bishops, who are urging the farther stiffen of the law. They marched to the parliament house and later moved on to the headquarters of the ruling Law and Justice party.
A protest of hundreds of people in Wroclaw included a sign that said ” I will not give birth to a dead newborn “.
Malgorzata, 58, a psychologist, told Reuters:” I am against treating female as an inferior type of human being. I support women’s rights to decide about their bodies and their lives .”
The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Nils Muiznieks warned on Friday that the new measure ran counter to Warsaw’s human rights commitments.
” If adopted, the draft legislation would remove the possibility of terminating the pregnancy in case of severe foetal impairment, including in cases where such impairment is fatal ,” Muiznieks wrote.” This step would be at variance with Poland’s obligations under international human rights law .”
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