21/05/2016 by socialistfight
In June 2015 the Dutch abortion activists of Women on Waves successfully flew a quadcopter drone carrying abortion-inducing pills into Poland, a country where abortion is virtually outlawed. They sent the abortion drone to two women associated with the Polish feminist organisation Feminoteka, who were waiting across the river in Slubice, Poland. The drones carried mifepristone and misoprostol, two drugs that have been approved by the World Health Organization since 2005 as a safe and effective way to terminate a pregnancy. Anti-abortion activists threatened the two Polish women with violence.
Following the restoration of capitalism in 1989 anti-abortion laws were introduced into Poland in 1993. Poland now has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe: abortion is only available in cases of grave foetal defect, rape/incest, or threat to the life of the mother, and only within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This law replaced communist-era laws that made abortion widely available. It was termed a “compromise” between the proponents of a total ban and those who wanted a public referendum on the matter.
But now a new Bill, pushed by a pro-life foundation and the Ordo Iuris legal institute, would make abortion illegal in all circumstances. Doctors who performed an abortion could be punished with jail terms of up to five years. The only exception would be the “unintended” death of a foetus while saving a woman’s life.
The Catholic Church in Poland (95% Catholic) has always championed this reactionary cause. And a new government has just come to power; the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), who are dominated by the Church. Since 1993 legal abortions have been replaced by very dangerous backstreet abortions; legal abortions fell from about 100,000 to under 1,000. Many women travel to Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic for abortions, a parallel with Irish women, north and south, who have to flee to Britain.
As in Ireland there have been many Polish scandals, including a 14-year-old victim of rape similar to the ‘X’ case in Ireland. The European Court of Human Rights fined the Polish government heavily for two of these cases.
But there was widespread outrage at the proposal to turn the draconian abortion laws into an outright ban. 85,000 people had signed up for the Facebook page of a protest group, Dziewuchy dziewuchom, (Women for Women). In big protests on 4 April, hundreds of men and women walked out of Mass when priests read the Church’s official letter supporting the abortion ban. And just as women in Indiana have been protesting new abortion restrictions and invasive demands for information by forming “Periods for Pence” and notifying the governor of the status of their menstrual periods, women in Poland have overwhelmed the Polish prime minister’s Twitter and Facebook feeds with details of their “Difficult Period.” There is massive opposition to this new draconian Bill. ▲
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