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Poland parliament rejects constitutional amendments to stengthen anti-abortion law

[JURIST] Poland's parliament Friday rejected constitutional amendments that would have strengthened the country's anti-abortion laws. Poland's current 1993 abortion law [CRR backgrounder] is already one of Europe's strictest, allowing abortions only when the woman's health is threatened by pregnancy, the baby is likely to be handicapped, or the pregnancy is the result of rape. The conservative ruling League of Polish Families and Law and Justice [party websites, in Polish] parties proposed the amendments which would have either banned abortions altogether or made it harder to weaken existing anti-abortion legislation, but failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required by the Polish constitution [text] to pass the amendments. The centrist and leftist opposition voted against the proposed changes. Piotr Gadzinowski of the Democratic Left Alliance [party website, in Polish] told Polish television the vote was a "victory of reason over backwardness."

Last month, protesters rallied across Poland in support of a complete ban on abortion [JURIST report]. Last year, a Polish woman challenged the country's current abortion law [JURIST report] before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as violating her privacy rights under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms [text]. The ECHR decided in her favor [BBC report] last month, but the ruling does not affect Polish law. Reuters has more.

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