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

The battle on abortion is far from over in Poland. Today the Polish Parliament adopted new project entitled “For Life” (“Za Życiem”) targeting so called “difficult pregnancies”.

In the project the government offers 4000 PLN (1000 EUR) for carrying to term a pregnancy with a permanently damaged or terminally ill foetus and ensures access to hospices and medical care. It also guarantees psychological counselling and introduces a new role of an “assistant of the family” who will be responsible for coordination of available support.

The new project consists mostly of solutions already existing in the areas of healthcare and social policies. The project is proclaimed as a support programme for “difficult pregnancies” and was first announced after dismissal of the “Stop Abortion” citizen’s bill (which aimed to ban abortion in all cases and criminalize women) on October 6th.

The “For Life” project was proposed by Beata Szydło, Polish Prime Minister, on Monday, October 31st and adopted within a few days without any consultations with the non-governmental sector or experts. Szydło claims that a wider support programme aiming to help families and children with disabilities will be developed by the end of this year.

Giving a price tag on the unbelievable, unimaginable suffering of Polish women and children may be a start of limiting access to abortion in case of foetal damage, one of the three cases by which abortion is currently legal in Poland (the other two are when a woman's life is in danger and when a pregnancy is a result of rape or incest). Catholic Church and many of the Law and Justice ruling party have been supportive of this notion on numerous occasions.