Thousands march in Poland against attempt to liberalize abortion law News
© WikiMedia (Adrian Grycuk)
Thousands march in Poland against attempt to liberalize abortion law

Thousands of people protested in Poland on Sunday against an attempt by the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish legislature, to further advance parliamentary works that would amend the strict abortion law currently in power. The parliament voted Friday on four-abortion related issues, in addition to creating an Extraordinary Committee to draft new abortion laws.

The European Parliament voted this week, with 336 voices in favor, to enshrine the right to abortion in the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union, calling on Poland to repeal all laws or other measures that are an obstacle to getting an abortion.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament passed a motion addressing the “backsliding of abortion rights” in Poland, where the country has “further restricted access to legal abortion care”.

Despite protests, the Sejm’s decision was welcomed by Amnesty International, as it stated that “by approving these four amendments, Poland’s parliament has taken a significant step towards ending Poland’s cruel and draconian restrictions on access to abortion, which have had a devastating impact on the lives and health of so many people.”

The initiative is expected to face resistance from conservative president Andrzej Duda, who vetoed last month a proposed amendment to the Pharmaceutical Law that would allow young women aged 15 and up to purchase emergency contraception pills without a prescription.

Poland has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, following a decision by its Constitutional Court in 2021 that removed grounds of “severe and irreversible fetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the fetus’ life” as a valid reason to procure the procedure.