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Poland braces for more anti-government protests over abortion law

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Protesters take part in the nationwide daily anti-government protests in Poland, which have entered a third week after a top court ruled to further tighten the abortion laws.
Protesters take part in the nationwide daily anti-government protests in Poland, which have entered a third week after a top court ruled to further tighten the abortion laws.   -   Copyright  Czarek Sokolowski/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Poland was bracing for a 16th day of anti-government over a court ruling that tightened the country's already strict restrictions on abortion.

On Friday night, police faced off with a few hundred protesters in downtown Warsaw, using vans and officers to prevent demonstrators from congregating and warning that the gathering was in breach of restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Using loudspeakers, they warned demonstrators that breach of the restrictions could lead to custodial sentences, AP reported.

It is not the first time that demonstrators have been targeted since protests began almost three weeks ago, with police taking names and checking identity documents during previous rallies.

As well as in Warsaw, members of the Women's Strike organisation gathered in the cities and towns of Szczecin and Zakopane on Friday and more protests are planned on Saturday.

The protests, by predominantly young people demanding greater rights for women and the conservative government's resignation, were triggered by an Oct.22 ruling by a top court that banned abortions of fetuses with congenital defects.

It did not change provisions that permit abortions when pregnancy threatens the woman's heath or results from rape or incest.