POLAND: Bishops demand a ban on abortion, state authorities comply!

(Polish Women’s StrikeOn March 14, the Polish Bishops’ Conference issued a communiqué, requesting the parliamentary majority (PiS – “Law and Justice” party) to IMMEDIATELY start proceeding the draft project of the abortion ban in the Polish parliament, prohibiting abortion when the foetus is irreparably damaged. Without even pretending that the Polish state is in any way independent from Roman Catholic church, PiS decided that the project that aims to force Polish women to carry and give birth to foetuses unable to live independently – and often watch them die in pain just after being born – would go to the Sejm (lower chamber of the Polish parliament) for the debate in the commission next Monday, March 19.

In Poland abortion is illegal with three very narrow exceptions – when it is a result of a crime (rape or incest), when it causes danger to women’s life and health and when the foetus is irreparably damaged. However, the so called “consciensce clause” that puts personal religious beliefs of the doctors above their professional duty to practice medicine, makes even the legal abortion hardly available in Poland nowadays. So the Episcopate and ruling majority action against Polish women is in fact about making abortion 100% illegal and unavailable in Poland.

That is why the Polish Women’s Strike, together with pro-woman organizations and movements, is preparing #SundaySermon action on 18/03 outside archidioceses and dioceses, bringing #HangerForABishop – metal clothes hangers that are symbols of perilous, illegal abortions done with metal hangers and dangerous chemicals to which women in Poland are forced when they cannot afford paid, relatively safe treatments.

Having nothing against the religion and the believers, on Sunday 18/03 we take clothes hangers (#HangerForABishop) and we go to the headquarters of the 14 archdioceses and 27 dioceses all over Poland, that is, offices of an oppressive institution whose dictatorship we have endured for a long time. Institution which is the source of hatred, contempt and violence against women. Institution for which the falsely perceived “tradition” and “morality” are more important than the fact that we are raped and killed every day. In our own homes. In the name of the sanctity of an unsolvable marriage. Institution which will not rest until it turns our lives into an ultimate hell. We are to live in pain, give birth in pain and die in pain. Enough of this!

Marta Lempart, leader of the Polish Women’s Strike:
“When after the first Polish Women’s Strike on October 3, 2016, PiS withdrew the project of a total abortion ban, we were informed that “the Episcopate authorized the deputies to withdraw the project”. So we will not pretend that we do not know who is in charge here.  Episcopate, call off your dogs!”

Media contact: Marta Lempart, marta.lempart.osk@gmail.com

Polish Women’s Strike is a coalition of women that initiated and organized the Black Monday protests in 150 cities in Poland on 03/10/2016 (the “black protests”) that prevented Polish authorities from imposing the planned total abortion ban and inspired the International Women’s Strike on 08/03/2017 and 08/03/2018 – women protests in over 60 countries worldwide.