This is how thousands of women united to stop Poland banning abortion

#BlackMonday saw thousands of Polish women take to the streets in order to protect their reproductive rights.

After a #BlackMonday, things are looking better for women in Poland as abortion is now set to remain legal.

The news follows a day of protests on 3rd October which saw thousands of women walk out of work in over 60 cities in protest against a new proposal to illegalise abortion in Poland.

Marching on what social media dubbed #BlackMonday, the protesting women wore black as they marched through the streets to symbolise that they were grieving for their reproductive rights.

Their message was obviously received loud and clear, with Polish MPs overwhelmingly voting to reject the bill that would have ended in an almost complete ban on abortion in the country. The government later said in a public statement that the protests had provided ministers with ‘food for thought’.

‘Abortion will certainly not be banned when the woman is the victim of rape of if her life or her health is in danger,’ insisted Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin.

But despite his reassurances, it very nearly was. Poland already has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, a place where, according to the current law, abortion is banned except in cases where the woman’s life in danger, the foetus is terminally damaged or the woman is pregnant because of rape or incest.

However, the new proposal called for abortion to be illegal no matter the circumstances. In fact, women who attempt to abort their child would be imprisoned for up to five years under the proposed amendments, with equally long sentences for the doctors who perform them.

The proposal caused outrage amongst the country’s liberal and left-wing communities, who argued that is already too difficult for women to get abortions in Poland, as many doctors refuse to perform them on the grounds of religious or ethical objections. As a result, many pregnant Polish women are currently forced to travel to Slovakia and Germany in order to undergo termination.

Meanwhile, others argued that illegalising abortion under any circumstance would be tantamount to a death sentence for many women who might experience medical complications.

With men and women showing their solidarity across the globe, there was one protester who seemed to sum up the thought on everyone’s mind:

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

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