[JURIST] Polish citizens protested on Sunday a possible total abortion ban following the suggestion of the ruling legislative party’s president. The ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party wants to bring the country’s abortion policies in line [Guardian report] with the Catholic Church’s views on the practice, and party president Jaroslaw Kaczynski recently backed the church’s position. The majority of Polish citizens consider themselves to be Roman Catholic. Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło supports [AP report] the total ban on abortions. Poland currently already has one of the strict abortion laws, but this proposed ban would eliminate abortion in all cases, cease state funding for in-vitro fertilization, and reinstate the prescription requirement for emergency contraception.
Abortion access and reproductive healthcare [JURIST backgrounder] remain contentious issues worldwide. The High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland in November ruled [judgment] that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws, which only allow abortion when the mother faces the risk of death or serious injury, are a violation of human rights [JURIST report]. According to an Amnesty International report released the same month, El Salvador’s complete ban on abortion negatively affects [JURIST report] not only women and girls, but also their families. A Dominican court in December blocked [JURIST report] a new law that would have decriminalized abortion if a pregnant woman’s life was at risk, thus reinstating a total ban on abortion within the country.