Polish Language Blog

Abortion ban takes effect in Poland after all Posted by on Jan 28, 2021 in Culture, Current News, Regulations

Most of you heard about “Strajk kobiet” that took place in Poland back in October 2020. Thousands of people were protesting decision in the nation’s Constitutional Court in Warsaw, that would have further narrowed access to abortion in Poland. As a result of the nationwide protests, government indefinitely delayed the publication of the court’s ruling about abortion ban.

I mentioned the news about it back in November 2020

News from Poland you might have missed recently.

However, a contentious near-total ban on abortion in Poland went into effect yesterday night, despite rampant opposition from hundreds of thousands of Poles who began protesting in the fall. On Wednesday the government abruptly announced that the ruling was being published in the government’s journal, meaning it came into effect.

“Lady justice” Image by jessica45 from Pixabay

The Constitutional Court, which was reformed by the religious, conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS), has banned abortions of fetuses with congenital defects. Termination of pregnancy will now be allowed only if the woman’s health is threatened or if the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act, such as rape or incest.

The majority of Poles oppose a stricter ban and demonstrations took place in Polish cities on Wednesday evening. Thousands of outraged women, teenagers and allies returned to the streets Wednesday night bundled up against the cold. The protesters chanted slogans like “I think, I feel, I decide!” (“Myślę, czuję, decyduję”) and “Freedom of choice instead of terror!” (“Wolność wyboru zamiast terroru!”). In Warsaw, they marched to the headquarters of the governing Law and Justice Party to songs including “I Will Survive.” Activists have called for large street protests on Thursday and Friday in the capital Warsaw.

The mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski tweeted his opposition to the move, calling on women to reject the decision on the streets. Leaders of the nationwide Women’s Strike movement that opposed the ban wore green headscarves, in a nod to Argentina’s women’s movement that successfully campaigned to legalise abortion.

“It’s not only women whom you’re bringing to the streets, it’s the whole nation that has had enough,” said Rafał Trzaskowski, the mayor of Warsaw, adding the decision to publish the ruling “against the will of Poles” was a “conscious and calculated acting to the detriment of the state.”

Read more here.

Video from Warsaw last night:


Last night in Katowice:


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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.