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

A group of extremist MPs, mainly from the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) and Kukiz’15, submitted a motion challenging the constitutionality of one of the cases, which allows for abortion according to The Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Permissibility of Abortion Act. MPs claim that the right to abortion in case of a severe and irreversible fetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the foetus’s life interferes with other constitutional values respect and protection of human dignity, the legal protection of the life of every human being. They also argue that this provision discriminates against foetuses on the grounds of their health status. 

The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice, gathering nearly 1000 NGOs and grassroots movements, harshly criticized this motion as it expresses contempt for women and forces them to carry and give birth to offspring with no chances of survival, and then to observe their agony in suffering. The Coalition also stressed that the Constitution clearly recognizes rights to which women as citizens are entitled: legal protection of the private and family life, freedom of conscience and religion and health care. There are no references to “foetuses”, “life at conception” or “unborn children”. On the contrary, the Constitution does not equate foetal life with a legal status of a born person, but it does lay down special care for pregnant women. 

100 MPs, with assistance of the PiS-controlled Tribunal, want to decide about the majority of the Polish society, which advocates for the liberalization of the anti-abortion act (as illustrated by to the latest opinion polls). Their move also infringes in democratic procedures and shows disrespect for 500 000 pro-choice people who signed citizens’ initiative for women’s rights and conscious parenthood, which was drafted by the “Save Women” Civic Committee.

Source: Federation for Women and Family Planning