The move to further restrict abortion had been pursued by Poland's populist government for months, and has raised alarm among women's rights campaigners and human rights watchdogs. Women and girls’ rights are under attack right now in Poland. By Chris Mularczyk The decision by the Constitutional Court to outlaw ‘eugenic’ abortions is viewed by some as a legitimate interpretation of the constitution in a matter of conscience and by others as a fundamental issue of human rights … Poland: Abortion bans are a huge failure to women’s rights. “This judgement is the result of a coordinated systematic wave of attacks on women’s human rights by Polish lawmakers, and represents their latest attempt to ban abortion in Poland,” said Esther Major, senior research adviser at Amnesty International. It is one of only two of twenty-seven EU member states that do not allow abortion on request or on broad social grounds. VIEW ǀ "We will not stop fighting for women’s fundamental rights - the right to legal and safe #abortion, the right to make decisions about our own bodies, our own lives." Feminism , Health, Imperialism, Inequality Poland Newswire Abortion Rights. Except during the German occupation during the Second World War, this law was in effect from 1932 to 1956. Here in the United States, we too must show our pro-life justices – or those who are undecided – that if they stand for life, we will have their backs. Please give now to support our work. This is what happened in the United States, with the result that tens of millions of preborn children having been aborted, that is murdered. WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Karolina Micula had used her bare chest in political protest once before. Protestors prepare to take part in a car demonstration organized by Women's Strike against imposing further restrictions on abortion law in Poland. ‘This is war’: fighting for abortion rights in Poland. Although all women may be affected by this cruel judgement, marginalized groups of women who cannot afford to travel will disproportionately suffer the consequences of the judges’ actions today.” Background How to Defend Life Under a Biden Presidency, Defending Life after 100 Years of Legal Abortion, Our Job as Christians After the 2020 Election. Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Human Rights Watch sent independent expert monitors to observe the hearing of Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal and to analyze the decision. “Legal prohibitions on abortion do not prevent abortion or reduce the rates of abortion; they serve only to damage women’s health by pushing abortions underground or forcing women to travel to foreign countries to access abortion care they need and to which they have a right. Until 1932, abortion was banned in Poland without exceptions. This is the so-called “compassion” of the pro-abortion worldview. Posted Nov 10, 2020 by Eds. Joint Statement issued by Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Human Rights Watch on Upcoming Session of the Constitutional Tribunal in Poland, Poland: Reject New Curbs on Abortion, Sex Ed, Polish Parliament Should Scrap Bill Against Sex Education, “The Breath of the Government on My Back”, Armenia: Unlawful Rocket, Missile Strikes on Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan: Unlawful Strikes in Nagorno-Karabakh, The Trump Administration’s Final Insult and Injury to Refugees, Human Rights Dimensions of COVID-19 Response. When Poland’s right-wing government first tried to restrict abortion rights, the actress and singer delivered an intense performance onstage in Wroclaw in 2017 that included her spreading paint in the national colors — white and red — onto her breasts and face, ending with a fist raised high. The truth, however, is that consistently applying the Polish Constitution’s provisions protecting the right to life to all human beings is the bare minimum for democracy to exist. Finally, this Polish victory points to the great importance of having pro-life judges who truly grasp the basic truth of pro-life arguments. 6 Nov 2020 News Women's rights protests block city streets over Poland's abortion law. Poland’s flagrant disregard for these values is dangerous not only for women and girls in Poland, but throughout Europe. In summarizing the results of last year’s parliamentary elections in Poland I briefly mentioned that “the rule of Catholic conservatives might stand in opposition to respecting the rights of women “. Abortion is only allowed if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, if the woman’s life is in danger or in cases of severe or fatal foetal impairment. Official strikes are taking place in over 60 Polish cities. Meanwhile, police in Poland have used violent means against peaceful demonstrators, ... according to a human rights lawyer. Poland’s Parliament should reject the Stop Abortion and Stop Pedophilia bills and uphold sexual and reproductive health and rights in accordance with international law. Under Polish law, abortion is only permitted to safeguard the life or health of women, or where the pregnancy results from rape. Thousands of women in Poland are joining Black Protests to demonstrate against the newest radical anti-abortion law proposal. In Nazi Germany, which included territories of Poland 1939–1945, the penalties for abortion were increased, especially for providing an abortion to an "Aryan" woman. Krakow, Poland on October 19th, 2020. Legal prohibitions on abortion serve no purpose except to deny women access to the healthcare they need and harm their health and wellbeing. Across Europe, demonstrations have gathered hundreds of women in solidarity with Polish women to denounce an infringement to abortion access, considered by the United Nations a fundamental human right. Just days ago, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal removed one of the few remaining exceptions to that country’s abortion law, ruling that abortions in cases of “fetal defect or incurable illness” constitute a violation of Poland’s Constitution. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. Indeed, pro-life activists in the U.S. should take heart. Poland abortion ban: Stripping women of their fundamental human rights The imposition of a near-total ban on abortion by the Polish Constitutional Court must elicit a strong reaction by the European Commission as Poland drifts ever further away from upholding EU values, writes Sylwia Spurek. “Success in Poland is of great importance for the cause of defending life in the international dimension,” they said. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic called it a “sad day for women’s rights”. “But I thought, ‘what, what greater thing can you do than raise children? Instead, abortion-on-demand has been created by fiat by the decision of a small number of liberal justices. It took less than a year for this prophecy to come true. Good news in the fight against the culture of death is all too rare. Originally published: Red Flag by Jasmine Duff (November 9, 2020) | A mass movement in Poland has succeeded in delaying the implementation of a court decision that would ban nearly every abortion. Criminalizing the Christian View of Homosexuality. When Poland’s right-wing government first tried to restrict abortion rights, ... What began as a revolt against an abortion ruling has become a larger struggle for democracy and human rights. Poland In English/Telewizja Polska S. A. One of my favorite stories about Justice Barrett is what happened when she and her husband were trying to adopt a second child from Haiti in 2009. In country after country around the world, the pro-abortion strategy has been deliberate to bypass democratic legislative procedures, and instead to concoct abortion-related cases to go before cherry-picked pro-abortion judges. Poland, issued two weeks ago, the European Court of Human Rights rebuked Poland for failing to regulate and monitor the widespread use of personal and religious objection in relation to reproductive health care, which has devastating consequences for women's health. Abortions are already … Prior to today’s ruling it was also legal in situations of “severe and irreversible fetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the fetus’ life.” Even in situations in which abortion is legal, multiple barriers combine to severely limit access to care in practice. Ensuring women’s human rights, including their reproductive rights, is essential to upholding EU values. A majority of European politicians, who debated on abortion rights in Poland, expressed solidarity with protestors. The ruling sparked an immediate reaction. The ruling Law and Justice party has repeatedly moved to further curb sexual and reproductive health and rights, including through a bill that would have enacted a total abortion ban. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing hli@hli.org. Poland's Constitutional court effectively banned abortion. Poland’s Parliament should reject the Stop Abortion and Stop Pedophilia bills and uphold sexual and reproductive health and rights in accordance with international law. Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Human Rights Watch voiced their opposition and stated their intention to send independent monitors to the court in Poland. Pro-lifers have been fighting for this day for decades. Pro-abortion Poles are criticizing this court decision for being undemocratic. Knowing that so many Polish people were standing with them must have given the justices at the Constitutional Tribunal the courage to do the right thing. “Today’s judgement puts the health and lives of women in Poland at great risk and violates Poland’s obligations under international human rights treaties to refrain from retrogressive measures that roll back women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health care,” said Leah Hoctor, regional director for Europe at the Center for Reproductive Rights. On Oct. 22, the Constitutional Tribunal, Poland’s highest court, ruled that abortion in the case of severe fetal abnormalities was unconstitutional. Barrett’s prior pro-life statements and actions suggest that she is a woman of conviction. The only grounds for accessing an abortion in Poland is now in the case of rape, incest, or if there is a threat to the mother’s life. Fr. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski) This decision is logically, legally, and scientifically consistent, in a way that allowing eugenic abortions was not. And the counter-cultural way that she lives her private life suggests that she has the strength of character to do the right thing under pressure. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, said that removing the basis for almost all legal abortions in Poland was tantamount to a ban and was a violation of human rights. ... Officially, the country recorded only 1,100 abortions last year. We must resist the temptation to let up our efforts even the slightest. Abortion rights are once again under attack in Poland, and women have turned out in full force to fight back. Women will keep protesting for the right to have safe abortions By extending protections to disabled preborn children, the Polish court has removed a serious contradiction within Polish law. In country after country, the people have had no say in abortion law. Poland’s highest court on Thursday banned abortions due to fetal defects, a ruling that further narrows reproductive rights in a country with some of the most conservative abortion laws in Europe. The Polish situation is also instructive for the way it exposes the basic humanity and decency of the pro-life position, in contrast to the bigotry and extremism of the pro-abortion side. Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 13-2875808. Poland’s mass protests for abortion rights: ‘This is war’ A proposal to ban most terminations has triggered the largest rallies post-communism Poland has witnessed. Poland’s mass protests for abortion rights: ‘This is war’ A proposal to ban most terminations has triggered the largest rallies post-communism Poland has witnessed. Indeed, as HLI’s representatives in Poland – Lech and Ewa Kowalewski – recently emphasized, the impact of Poland’s pro-life victory extends far beyond Poland. The only grounds for accessing an abortion in Poland will now be in the case of rape, incest, or if there is a threat to the mother’s life. Poland’s democracy has remained vibrant enough to prevent PiS from successfully pushing through unpopular policies, including the legislation of a more restrictive abortion law. Since coming to power in 2015, the Law and Justice government has undermined the Constitutional Tribunal’s independence and its effectiveness as a check on the executive. Poland already has the most restrictive abortion laws in the European Union. In October, Poland became the only European Union country to remove a right to legal abortion from its citizens. Abortion in Poland is, as of 30 October 2020, legal only in cases of rape and incest, when the woman's life or health is at risk, or if the fetus is irreparably damaged.. In a statement Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, welcomed the court’s decision. Over the last four days, thousands of women have stormed the streets of Poland, protesting a recent court ruling that drastically restricts their right to access safe and legal abortions. Welcoming two more in quick succession must have seemed overwhelming. “Women’s human rights and access to reproductive health care are under siege in Poland. Opening the debate, European Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli said, “High-quality sexual and reproductive health services are essential to women and girls. Carrying banners and placards — many bearing a red lightning bolt, a symbol of the pro-choice protests in the country — the demonstrators demand the reversal of the ruling by Poland’s highest court. In its September 2020 rule of law report, the Commission noted that “concerns over the independence and legitimacy of the Constitutional Tribunal” remain unresolved. Fri Nov 13, 2020 - 10:20 am EST As HLI’s president, Fr. Abortio… “Poland must act now to bring its law into line with other European Union member states and legalize abortion on a woman’s request or broad social grounds, and guarantee women’s full and effective access to care in situations where women’s physical or mental health is at risk.” “I have said it many times and I have never concealed it, that abortion for so-called eugenic reasons should not be allowed in Poland. The Barretts already had four children at home. I believed and believe that every child has a right to life.”. In that year, the new Penal Code legalised abortion only when there were medical reasons and, for the first time in Europe, when the pregnancy resulted from a criminal act. Though very grateful for the court’s decision, sadly, the violence of abortion remains legal in Poland in cases of rape and incest. Only days ago, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. 'An authentic human right can never be a threat to the right to life,' pro-life campaigner Maria Madise told the Women’s Rights Conference in Poland this week. 6 Nov 2020 (Berlin) – The Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling to invalidate the constitutionality of access to abortion on the ground of “severe and irreversible fetal defect or incurable illness that threatens the fetus’ life” will further harm women and girls and violates their human rights, Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Human Rights Watch said today. Under Polish law, abortion is only permitted to safeguard the life or health of women, or where the pregnancy results from rape. “The European Commission and EU member states should urgently address breaches of rule of law and their impact on fundamental rights in Poland. Poland’s mass protests for abortion rights: ‘This is war’ A proposal to ban most terminations has triggered the largest rallies post-communism Poland has witnessed. It is ironic to hear abortion activists now complaining about judicial activism. Poland and human rights Since 2015, the PiS-led government has pushed through a number of wide-reaching controversial reforms to media and the judiciary in addition to the abortion ruling. There are several key lessons we can learn from the Polish court’s decision. Though she refused to openly state her view of Roe v. Wade during the hearings, there are encouraging signs that she is cut from a different cloth than those GOP-appointed justices who have repeatedly disappointed us in the past. Modern Day Eugenics: Who Lives and Who Dies? Committed pro-life activists in that country – including representatives of HLI Polska – have been spearheading grassroots campaigns demanding more compassionate laws in the country. But the women's organisation Federa estimates that more than 100,000 Polish women have abortions every year - either in neighbouring countries or illegally, accepting health risks. Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people in 90 countries worldwide, spotlighting abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice. Poland already has abortion legislation that ignores women's right to self-determination. Surfer Maya Gabeira on riding the biggest wave of the year. Fri Nov 13, 2020 - 10:20 am EST WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Karolina Micula had used her bare chest in political protest once before.When Poland’s right-wing government first tried to restrict abortion rights, the actress and singer delivered an intense performance onstage in Wroclaw in 2017 that included her spreading paint in the national colors — white and red — onto her breasts and face, ending with a fist raised high. Abortions have been ruled unconstitutional by a top court in Poland. What was the Polish court’s recent ruling on abortions? AS protests in Poland continue against a near-total ban of abortion, women in Europe have taken to the streets to support the fight for women’s rights. Shortly after being told that the adoption could go through – after initially being told that it wouldn’t – the couple learned they were pregnant. But today, we have extremely good news from the homeland of the “pope of life,” St. John Paul II. The court was quite right to emphasize the way eugenic abortions are a form of “discrimination” against the disabled. By focusing on these cases, pro-abortion activists scandalously exploit the suffering of women victims to smuggle in abortion-on-demand. Join our movement today. In a speech at Notre Dame last year, she recounted her reaction: “I walked up to the cemetery on campus and I just sat down on one of the benches and I just thought ‘okay, well if life’s really hard, at least it’s short,’” Barrett joked. In reality, abortions in these cases – every one of them a tragedy and crime against innocent human life – make up a vanishingly small minority of abortions in most countries where abortion is legal. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. Poland already has some of the European Union’s most stringent restrictions on abortion. We must pray that our supposedly conservative Supreme Court justices, who now make up a majority of the court, will have the courage to do what previous Republican nominees have not done. We stand with them every step of the way.” A women’s strike in currently underway in Poland in protest at a proposed amendment to their already restrictive abortion laws. Former European President and Poland’s former prime minister, Donald Tusk, criticized the timing of such key ruling during the difficult time of the pandemic. Get updates on human rights issues from around the globe. Watch: Thousands of women's rights activists gather to protest Poland's near abortion ban This week, we received a call from a woman who passed the phone to the man, who explained their situation. The decision by the country’s Constitutional Court effectively bans terminating pregnancies in cases where birth defects are found and will further limit access to abortions in Poland. 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