The Polish parliament has rejected draft legislation to allow abortion until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy by 240 votes to 173.
Abortion is currently permitted only in cases of rape, incest or medical complications for the mother or child.
Meanwhile another draft bill, supported by the Catholic Church which would ban abortion except if the mother’s life is at risk has moved on for further consideration.This law would see doctors who perform abortions and women who undergo them face up to 5 years in prison. The church’s influence is considerable 90% of Polish people identify as being catholic.
Protestors from both camps have been demonstrating in front of parliament.
A rock and a hard place
The ruling conservatives (PiS) are in somewhat of a quandary: reluctant to antagonise the Church yet wary of fanning public outcry if they impose further restrictions.
The future of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) which has already lost government funding is also under discussion.