Poland has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws, yet the government hopes to reduce healthcare provision for women even more by criminalizing abortions in cases of severe fetal abnormalities.
The increasingly autocratic tendencies observed in Poland and Hungary during the COVID-19 crisis have alarmed the EU. With street protests currently banned, human rights activists fear that the pandemic will be used by national conservative governments to consolidate their power and undermine democracy and human rights.
The human rights of women and children in Poland are at risk. The government is exploiting the fact that due to social distancing restrictions women are unable to protest against a barbaric legislation which was passed in its first reading in Sejm
The controversial cover of the Wysokie Obcasy (High Heels) issue released on February 17, 2018, featuring three women wearing t-shirts with the “Abortion is OK” slogans, brought about a heated discussion in Poland. Interestingly, it resonated the most in the anti-PiS (Law and Justice) camp.
In the recent weeks thousands of Polish women have been demonstrating on the streets to protest against the total ban on abortion. The radical proposal formally came from a marginal conservative NGO, yet it was eagerly supported by the PM, her government and Polish bishops.
There are two processes going on in the Polish reality, which at a first glance may seem to exclude one another. On the one hand, there is a mass decrease in the number of church-going believers (circa 2-4 millions in the last few years), and on the other, there is the phenomenon of overtaking the “moral” discourse in Poland by extreme groups related to Church.