Poland introduced new abortion laws last week, with the court ruling on Thursday banning abortions in almost all cases – with cases of rape, incest and the mother’s health at risk being the only exceptions.
While Poland’s previous abortion laws were already among the strictest in the EU, it is now essentially a ban. The new restrictions outlaw abortions where a foetus is malformed, reportedly making up 98% of the terminations that were legal last year.
The new laws have unsurprisingly caused an uproar, with protests erupting over the country this weekend.
Despite the coronavirus restrictions banning gatherings of more than 10 people, mass protests took place in major cities, with Warsaw, Krawkow and Poznan being among the many locations.
‘This is War’, read some of the signs, while others carried the words: ‘You have blood on your hands’.
‘[It is] a sad day for women’s rights’, Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights reportedly announced, while Krystyna Kacpura, head of the Federation for Women and Family Planning, told AFP news agency: ‘It’s a disgrace from the Polish state towards half of the population, women. We’ll never forget it.’
We will continue to update this news story.