Poland’s pro-EU coalition introduces bill aimed at legalising abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy

Newly-elected members of Poland's parliament attend the first session of the lower house, or Sejm, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday Nov. 13, 2023.
Newly-elected members of Poland's parliament attend the first session of the lower house, or Sejm, in Warsaw, Poland, Monday Nov. 13, 2023. Copyright Czarek Sokolowski/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP, AFP
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One of the parties of the coalition now in control of Poland's parliament has tabled bills to begin legalising abortion up to the 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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The Polish left, in the coalition which controls the newly elected Parliament, has tabled two bills aimed at legalising the right to abortion in the country, which is currently one of the most restrictive in Europe. 

One of the bills "provides for the complete legalisation of the right to terminate a pregnancy up to the 12th week of gestation [...] and the other specifically decriminalises assistance with abortion," indicated MP Anna Maria Zukowska. 

The two legislative proposals were tabled on Monday, which was the first day of the new Polish parliament resulting from the October legislative elections.

The legalisation of abortion is part of the agendas of two of the three pro-European parties, that of the left and that of Donald Tusk's Civic Coalition.

Poland, a traditionally Catholic country, already had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. The procedure is currently only authorised in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger.

However, the law is so restrictive that doctors are often afraid to perform an abortion if the mother's life is in danger. 

The law can also result in up to three years in prison for anyone who terminates a pregnancy or assists a pregnant woman in terminating her pregnancy.

In March, a Polish activist, Justyna Wydrzynska, was sentenced by a Warsaw court to community service for assisting in an abortion. 

According to a poll carried out at the beginning of March, 83.7 per cent of Poles are in favour of liberalising the country's law on abortion.

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