On Monday 3rd of October thousands of women in Poland went on strike and objected to the far right government’s plans to vote one of the most conservative laws in the EU regarding abortion.
Companies, Universities and city councils, including Czestochowa,Gdansk,Lodz,Poznak and Warsaw supported the strike by giving a green light to women employees to demonstrate.
Poland has already one of the strictest abortion regimes in the world. Women can legally have an abortion when the life or health of the mother is at risk, when foetus is malformed or when pregnancy is the result of a sex crime.
The new law proposal though is by far more regressive. This proposal suggests that in any case abortions should be forbidden, even if the health or life of the mother is at risk, or if the pregnancy is a result of a crime. The punishment in the case of an illegal abortion would be from three months to five years in jail, and this applies not only to the pregnant women who will attempt and/or perform an abortion but also for the doctor who will undertake the surgery.
The situation in Poland regarding abortions right now is blurry, but the latest data suggest that in 2014, 1.812 legal abortions were carried out while illegal procedures are estimated between 50.000 – 200.000 every year.
The Polish state seems to follow the path of authoritarianism and there are many questions raised regarding the origin of the demand to make the law stricter. On the other hand, the ongoing Women Movement in Poland gets importance because it is the only answer to the far right voices in Poland.
Author: Touvlatzis Vasilis, iBEBP team.