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

Oct 10 2012

Today the Polish parliament voted on two draft laws regarding reproductive rights. The first one was Act on conscious parenthood that aimed at liberalizing abortion, introducing comprehensive sexual education and guaranteeing access to subsidized contraception. Although the debate showed lack of understanding of the links between number of abortions and proper sexual education and use of contraception, there was still a chance that MPs would not reject the draft bill after first reading and put if for further parliamentary work in relevant committees. That did not happen. Civic Platform (the leading party, calling itself central and liberal), Polish Peasants Party and two conservative parties, Law&Justice and Solidary Poland voted for rejection. Only 70 MPs (Democratic Left Alliance and Palikot’s Movement) voted against that. It means that this battle for liberalization of abortion law is over.

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Oct 07 2012

Council of Europe: Anti-Choice initiative blocked by 100 MPs at an initial stage. Back in July 2012, a number of anti-choice MPs headed by Chair of  the EPP- European People's Party (most powerful and largest centre-right block at PACE) tabled a Motion for a Resolution entitled "Combating eugenics and discrimination against people with disabilities" . The objective of the resolution was to prevent women from accessing information and taking decisions about their pregnancies.

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Oct 04 2012

The Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, voted with an overwhelming majority to support a bill that would ban “homosexual propaganda”. 289 out of 450 members of parliament supported the bill, which is now expected to move for a second round of reading in parliament later this month.

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Oct 01 2012

Unsafe abortion is a public health disaster and a major human rights issue. About 47,000 women each year are still dying from complications of unsafe abortion. Others are imprisoned for having abortions. In some countries women are dying or suffering serious injury because of the failure of their governments to provide safe abortions and life-saving treatment when they are too ill to continue with a pregnancy. This is why on 28 September - the International Day of Action for the Decriminalisation of Abortion- women's health and human rights advocates are demanding change. 

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Sep 26 2012

Today, Polish Parliament will debate two draft bills regarding abortion.

Poland's abortion law is one of the most restrictive in Europe and even more restrictive in practice than on paper. Although the law allows termination of pregnancy under three conditions - including for therapeutic reasons and when it results from a criminal act - legal abortion is actually not accessible even for women whose conditions fall under the exceptions. Moreover, access to other SRHR services is also limited. There is no sexuality education is schools and contraception is not subsidized.

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