The current pandemic and the previous lockdown had effects on several areas of life, including work and social life. However, there is a rather neglected sphere which is rarely discussed in the media compared with other topics.
Polish laws on abortion are the strictest in Europe. The government refuses the right to safe abortion to people with wombs, allowing for abortion tourism and self-induced miscarriage. This wasn’t enough for religious fundamentalists in the Polish parliament.
The Polish government’s war with both Brussels and a significant part of the Polish population over the rule of law is against Poland’s national interests. On October 26, the European Parliament adopted a resolution criticizing the Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s decision to ban over 95% of legal abortions in Poland.
The legacy of Bader Ginsburg, who was nominated to a seat on the DC circuit appeals court by Jimmy Carter in 1980 and finally nominated for the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton in 1993, is the social equality of women, LGBTIQ and other minorities. She fought for an open America that finds its strength in diversity.
On October 22, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the Constitution, effectively imposing a near-total ban on abortion. Tribunal’s president Julia Przyłębska said that allowing abortions in cases of fetal abnormality legalized “eugenic practices“.
The Constitutional Tribunal in Poland has granted a request by more than 100 right-wing conservative MPs and declared abortions, even on account of severe foetal defects, to be unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for a further tightening of the Polish abortion law, which is already one of the strictest in the European Union.
Demonstrations were held not only in Kraków, Katowice, Wrocław, Szczecin, and Gdańsk, but also in smaller cities. On Friday evening, crowds marched again to the house of Kaczyński, then to the house of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. According to estimates, no less than 15,000 people took part in this “walk”.
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.