Huge protests in Poland over near-total abortion ban

Huge protests in Poland over near-total abortion ban
By Chris Harris with Reuters/AFP
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Tens of thousands of Polish protesters hit the streets on Friday to oppose draft government moves to tighten the country’s abortion laws.


Polish protesters hit the streets in their thousands on Friday over moves to revive a near-total ban on abortion.

They were demonstrating against a fresh bid by the ruling conservatives to make getting a termination harder.

The country already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the European Union.

Terminations are only allowed in three circumstances: after rape or incest; when there is danger to the mother's health; and when tests show serious, irreversible damage to the foetus.

The proposed new law would remove the third category, which accounts for more than 90 percent of legal abortions.

READ MORE: Meet the women and men taking on the Polish government over abortion

Malgorzata, 58, who took part at a protest in Warsaw: "I am against treating woman as an inferior type of human being. I support women's rights to decide about their bodies and their lives."

City officials said 55,000 people took part in Warsaw; the police said the figure was nearer 20,000.

As well as the capital, protests were organised in other major cities including Poznan, Krakow, Wroclaw and Gdansk.

It’s the second time the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party have tried to tighten abortion laws.

In 2016 it performed a u-turn on moves to introduce a near-total ban on abortion after about 100,000 people protested.

After that setback, PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said his party would strive to amend laws to make sure that even severely deformed foetuses were born so they could be "baptised, buried, and be given a name".

This month Polish Catholic bishops called on MPs to show "unconditional respect for every human being in all moments of its existence".

Your view | What do you think about the proposed law? How are you affected by abortion laws in Poland? Let us know in the comments below or contact

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