Poland Is Facing A Near-Total Abortion Ban
By: Kylie Hapuarachchi
As a country that has many civil liberties it seems almost radical to think that one must have permission to their own bodies. As of January 20th 2021, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal declared that all abortion is illegal unless they are in case of rape/incest or the pregnancy will be harmful to the mother
The fight for this ruling has been in affect since October of 2020, when the 1993 ruling that abortion in cases of fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court believes that it is a human and should not have it’s life taken away.
The women of Poland were enraged which led them to do days-long protests in Warsaw. The mass demonstrations are in unity to stand for women’s rights.
The fetal abnormalities that the court is ruling against are both harmful to the parent and the fetus. A child with a congenital abnormality will have to endure extreme hardship in their lives including premature death once born.
Data shows that about 3% of newborns have a malformation that will lead to 20-25% of infants dying in the perinatal period. Furthermore, if they live a little longer it will be with disability, illness and the eventual death within the early years of their lives.
The fact that even fetal abnormalities are exempt from the law show that Poland would rather have their women and children living with immense hardship than to allow women the right to their bodies to make the decision for themselves.
Whatever may be the reasoning behind while the Polish Tribunal is doing this, it does not make up for the fact that it is their own body. Women should be the only ones to make a decision that is affecting them and only them.
Not long ago, America had this looming darkness of the possibility of Roe vs. Wade being overturned. If that had happened, there would have been trigger laws in place in where most of the states would ban abortion without exceptions such as Arkansas, Louisiana, and South Dakota.
Now, months after this incident it is once again occurring to another population of women that are being told what they should and should not do to their bodies.
They are being forced to make decisions just based on law and not based on personal preference. The conversation of women’s rights was spoken about by a tribunal that consisted of many conservative men and women that use their own biases to execute a law that affects all women.
The effects of this law have led to days-long protests, all consisting of people that believe it is the woman’s right to choose. A protest organizer named Martha Lempart exclaimed how the tribunal’s abortion decision was essentially “declaration of war”.
The protests have sparked as much outrage as was seen during the 1989 collapse of communism. Advocates such as Nadia Klos believe that the tribunal’s decision in using religion as a reason to incorporate this law is absurd.
Moreover, another protestor named Ivanna Kowalska who is a member of the group known as the Polish Grandmas believe that there is a larger meaning behind this ban of abortions.
Kowalska mentions that this is how communism feels and this is how it is when the power is slowly being drained from the population. She also mentions how it is a step back for Poland.
Despite the rise of Covid-19 cases women and allies are coming together in Warsaw to demonstrate how they feel. They are doing so because they feel that their human rights have been violated under the Law and Justice Party which has in more recent times become more autocratic.
Women have been fighting for rights for centuries. Everytime they take one step forward there is a barrier that pushes them back three steps.
Women deserve to have the rights to their body back, regardless of people’s personal biases. Women deserve to be thought of as more than a personal incubator.