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

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.

 

 Since the political transformation in 1989, abortion is a recurrent motif of political debate, and since the collapse of communism around 20 different draft bills were submitted to the Parliament. Last year, the civic initiative gathered more than 100 000 signatures in favour of total ban of abortion. It has been rejected by the Polish parliament by merely 5 votes. At the same time pro-choice civic initiative was formed, that failed to collect 100 000 signatures necessary for Parliament to proceed to debate it. The text of the draft bill prepared by the civic initiative “The Bill on conscious parenthood and other reproductive rights” was later submitted to the Parliament by Palikot Movement Party (pro-market, libertarian, populist). It stipulates accessibility of abortion up to the 12th week, subsidized contraception and sexuality education. The bill will be debated by the Parliament later today along with another one submitted by Solidary Poland (conservative, right wing), which stipulates total ban of eugenic abortions, i.e. a high likelihood of severe and irreversible impairment in the fetus or an incurable, life-threatening disease of fetus will be no longer implication for abortion.

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