Poland to face new protest as it rushes to revive abortion issue

Poland to face new protest as it rushes to revive abortion issue
Protest in early October clearly rattled the government, but it's already pushing another attempt to clamp down on abortion.
By bne IntelliNews October 13, 2016

Poland’s ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) will try again to put further restrictions on abortion, chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski told local media on October 12. His comments sparked fresh outrage and calls for mass protests similar to those that took place earlier this month.

Such a swift return to the issue is a surprise. While PiS has batted away the regular mass protests that have met its policies since taking office in November, it appeared shocked by the strength of feeling whipped up by the abortion issue, and to seemed to sense that it may have tried to go too fast in pushing its nationalist conservative programme.

Kaczynski’s words come less than two weeks after PiS was forced into a rare U-turn. In early October, tens of thousands of Poles - mostly women - protested against a proposal to toughen the law on abortion, which is already one of the harshest in Europe. Clearly rattled by the crowds, PiS backed down and terminated work on the proposal, claiming it was not well prepared.

That reverse was widely seen as a setback for the populist PiS. The party's concession to the mainstream provoked criticism from its core support amongst radical Catholics. 

It's little surprise then that Kaczynski wants to return to the issue, although the haste of his move, and the strength of its religious motivation, is more intriguing. The party head, who is the effective leader of Poland despite having little official power, said he the number of abortions in Poland should be reduced, especially in cases of foetal deformation or genetic disorders such as Down’s Syndrome, while children too sick to save should still be born and baptised.

There are about a thousand legal abortions each year, primarily because of Down's Syndrome, Kaczynski claimed. “We hope that soon this will not be the case. This is our goal. This must be prepared in the right way, however. The public also need to be convinced, particularly women, and we will do it,” he told PAP.

“We will strive to ensure that even in pregnancies which are very difficult, when a child is sure to die, strongly deformed, women end up giving birth so that the child can be baptised, buried, and have a name,” he also said. He did not say, however, he would like to force women to do anything but rather use “persuasion”.

Predictably, the comments sparked outrage. The women’s groups and leftist parties that were behind protests earlier this month were quick to call for new demonstrations. October 24 has been put forward as a potential date.

Poland currently has a tough abortion law allowing to terminate pregnancy only if it poses danger to woman’s health or life, or is a result of rape or incest. However, there have been numerous cases in which legal abortions have been made impossible by stuanchly Catholic doctors.

 

News

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss