Last update: Poland delays planned abortion restrictions amid protests

Poland’s rightwing government has delayed implementation of a controversial court ruling that would outlaw almost all abortion after it prompted the largest protests since the fall of communism.

Poland needs a period of calm to discuss a ruling by the highest court that bans most abortions, a government spokesman said after the measure did not take effect on Monday as expected following two weeks of mass protests.

Widespread outrage among women and others greeted the October 22 ruling which bans terminations due to fetal defects, ending one of the few legal grounds left for abortion in a staunchly Roman Catholic country with a deeply conservative government.

Full article published on CCN on 3 November 2020.

European Civic Forum stands with Polish women

Since 2016, the Polish Government tried to tighten the legislation on abortion, among the strictest in Europe. Since 2016, it found the opposition of masses of women and men mobilising in the streets across Poland under the slogan “Polish Women’ Strike”. After failing times and times again to pass the restrictions in the Parliament due to public outcry, the ruling party bypassed it and brought the issue directly to the Constitutional Court. Yesterday the Court ruled that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the country’s Constitution. This is not only an issue of restriction of fundamental rights but also of further deterioration of the rule of law, in a country where the politicisation of courts has long been documented.

Despite the health crisis, this Friday a large rally is called by organisations that reject the blow of power. The call, entitled “This is war”, tells better than long speeches what is at stake for women, for society and for rights. Our solidarity with this fight for abortion rights in Poland is full and complete.

Statement published by The European Civic Forum on 23, October 2020

Interview with #StrajkKobiet activist

Check out the interview with Marta Lempart, one of the public faces of this movement, published in our magazine Activizenship #3, the Civic Space Watch annual report: