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Poland: Lawmakers Reject Abortion Access Bill, Plan New Restrictions

HeadlineJan 11, 2018

In Poland, lawmakers rejected a bill Wednesday that would have liberalized the country’s abortion laws. The legislation would have removed all restrictions on abortion within the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, while funding sexual education and contraception programs. Lawmakers with the ruling conservative Law and Justice party say they’ll now enlist the help of Polish Catholic clergy as they advance a bill that would prohibit abortions for women carrying fetuses with severe deformities. This is Barbara Nowacka, a Polish lawmaker and member of the Save the Women civic committee.

Barbara Nowacka: “It shows the vastness of cruelty and ideologization of the Parliament. They do not want to talk about normality, about women’s rights, about sexual education that is neglected in Poland, or about contraception. They want to talk about torturing women. That is what they are interested in. They cynically try to gain support of the clergy, with whom they have made political interests for years. It is tragic news for Polish women.”

Poland already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Pregnant women are only allowed to have abortions in cases of rape, incest or extreme danger to a woman’s health, or if prenatal tests show serious damage to a fetus.

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