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POLISH Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended his government’s proposed ban on abortions today and claimed that days of demonstrations by women’s rights activists were “acts of aggression.”
He insisted that the nationwide protests shouldn’t have happened during the coronavirus pandemic.
Women’s rights groups and supporters are angry at a ruling by Poland’s highest court last Thursday which declared that terminations due to foetal congenital defects are unconstitutional.
The decision sparked five days of demonstrations, with more planned for this week, as women demand the right to choose.
On Monday, protesters blocked traffic in most cities and angry crowds gathered outside churches after Poland’s influential Catholic Church condemned abortions.
But Mr Morawiecki, from Poland’s right-wing populist Law and Justice party justified the tightening of the country’s already restrictive abortion laws.
“In order to have the freedom of choice, you first must be alive,” he said.
Condemning the protests, he warned: “The situations that we are seeing in the streets and which amount to acts of aggression, vandalism, attacks, are absolutely inadmissible, should not be taking place at all.”
When the law comes into force, abortion will be permitted only when a pregnancy threatens the woman’s health or has been caused by a crime such as rape or incest.
Women’s organisations fear that the ban will lead to a sharp rise in unsafe backstreet terminations.
The Abortion Without Borders group said that the decision – by a court mainly made up of men – showed that they have “no pity, compassion, heart and conscience.”
“We know, even if the Constitutional Tribunal does not, that this ruling will not stop women needing abortions. Not just in cases of foetal indication, but for the many, many reasons that women … need abortions,” the organisation said in a statement.
Offering support to women in Poland, it said: “If you need an abortion in your home with pills, we are here for you. If you need an abortion abroad, we are here for you.
“We are here with information, with empathy, with kindness and with funding. We are here with no judgement.
“Unlike the Constitutional Tribunal, we will not abandon you.”
Women seeking help with a termination in Poland can contact Abortion Without Borders on +48-22-29-22-597.
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