ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Jul 04 2013

Civic bill proposing to ban abortion in case of fetal malformation has made its way back to the Polish Parliament. The civic bill collected over 400 000 signatures of support. The Parliament will now have 90 days to work on the draft legislative bill proposed by the "Stop Abortion" civic initiative. The future developments are difficult to assess as two years ago the draft bill banning abortion totally was not rejected in the first reading but in the second and with slight difference in voting. The restrictive legislature has many supporters in the conservative wing of the ruling party, the Civic Platform.

The current law allows abortion in three cases only; in case of rape/incest, in case of a threat to the woman's health and in cases of fetal malformation. According to official numbers from the Ministry of Health there were 669 abortion and none resulting from or any other crime in year 2011. This figure, in a country of over 38 million inhabitants, illustrates how difficult it is to access a legal abortion in practice. The Polish Government constantly ignores the harmful effects of current legislation.

According to results of a study conducted by a Polish public opinion research institute, at least one-quarter, possibly up to one-third of women in Poland, have had an abortion at least once. This adds up to 4,1 million to 5,8 million women who undergo illegal abortions or travel abroad.

Source (Polish only): 

Jul 03 2013

Final Chair's Summary from the UNECE Regional Conference ENABLING CHOICES: POPULATION PRIORITIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY is available online.

To find out more about the UNECE Regional Conference please read the article by UNFPA RO "Regional ICPD Beyond 2014 conference ends with strong reaffirmation of Cairo principles"

See the conference in pictures here and the webcasts from the sessions here 



Jul 02 2013

The Regional UNECE ICPD Beyond 2014 Conference is currently taking place in Geneva in Switzerland. This event marks an end to the ICPD Review Process for the UNECE Region.

ASTRA delivered an INTERVENTION during the conference and urged governments of the region to respect and acknowledge human rights of women, especially their right to access safe and legal abortion.

ASTRA Youth representative and member of the Youth Delegation, Medea Khmelidze from Georgia, made an INTERVENTION on behalf of young people from the region.

The full list of interventions can be accessed here

Jul 01 2013

Newest issue of the European Magazine for Sexual and Reproductive Health ENTRE NOUS includes an article by Krystyna Kacpura, Executive Director of the Polish ASTRA Member, Federation for Women and Family Planning, serving as ASTRA Secretariat (pages 18-19). The article discusses the expert position of ASTRA as the premier network on women's SRHR in the Central and Eastern Europe region.

Latest issue of Entre Nous which focuses on ICPD and Post-2015 Processes can be accessed online HERE. 

Jul 01 2013

The regional UNECE ICPD Beyond 2014 conference in Geneva has begun. Over 300 participants from Europe, North America and Central Asia have gathered in Geneva to discuss population and sexual and reproductive health and rights priorities for the 21st century.

Watch the event live at

ASTRA and Federation for Women and Family Planning from Poland will present an intervention in the 2nd Thematic Session on "Families and Sexual and Reproductive Health over the Life Course" on Tuesday June 2nd between 10.30 and 11.40. 

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