International Safe Abortion Day

INTERNATIONAL SAFE ABORTION DAY 2020 – FEDERATION’S MANIFESTO & STATEMENTS

For more than a decade, September 28 has been celebrated in many countries as the International Safe Abortion Day. The tradition of this day, however, goes back to 1990, when in South America this day served for advocacy campaigns on the decriminalization of abortion. The Federation for Women and Family Planning has been celebrating this Read More

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The conservatives’ propaganda against the Sexuality Education in Poland

This short article is a brief summary of the recent mobilisation of the conservatives in Poland against the attempts to provide crumbs of sexuality education in Polish schools. With the beginning of the new school year 2020/2021 the activities of Ordo Iuris[1] (ultraconservative think tank) in the field of parents’ involvement in the education of Read More

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SRHR in Poland during the Covid-19 pandemic – update on the worrying legislative “developments”

April 2020: Parliamentary debate on 2 legislative proposals quasi totally banning abortion and sexuality education In the midst of coronavirus pandemic, the Polish Sejm decided to proceed with the 1st reading of the two controversial legislatives proposals. The reading took place on 15-16 of April, while the free movement of persons and the freedom of Read More

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Advocacy for referral obligation. International responses

On 27 May 2020 on the session of the Parliamentary Commission on Health the amendment introducing the referral obligation to the government draft bill on the doctors’ and dentists’ professions has been deleted. The draft bill without the referral obligation passed the 3rd reading in the Polish Sejm and was sent to the Senate for Read More

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Report “Cultural and Religious Counterrevolution – Is Polish Law under the Threat of Christian Fundamentalists’ Ideology?”

As a member of the Great Coalition for Equality and Choice  we proudly present the English summary of the Coalition’s report about the Institute for Legal Culture Ordo Iuris, which has been fostering  cultural and religious counterrevolution in Poland and beyond. The publication is the civil society’s response to the growing sphere of activities and Read More

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Statement for the 44th session of the Human Rights Council

This statement was delivered by the Federation for Women and Family Planning during the 44th session of the Human Rights Council. Watch the presentation of the statement We welcome the report of the WG on Women’s human rights in the changing world of work and strongly advocate for the recommendations included in the report to Read More

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Poland uses COVID-19 pandemics to push for further restrictions in women’s access to sexual and reproductive rights

In the midst of coronavirus pandemic, the Polish Sejm decided to proceed with the 1st reading of the two scandalous legislatives proposals. The reading will take place on 15-16 of April, while the free movement of persons and freedom of assembly are gravely limited due to public health grounds and protests against the bills cannot Read More

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Hundreds of NGOs appeal to European governments to ensure safe and timely access to abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and public health crisis is presenting grave challenges for health care systems across Europe. As European countries work to address the pandemic, protect their populations, and meet the increased demand on health care workers and health care facilities it is vital that they adopt measures to safeguard the health, human dignity, physical Read More

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Federation’s successful advocacy for the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in SRHR

At the beginning of March 2020, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers examined (lack) of progress in the execution of 3 judgments of the European Court of Human Rights against Poland concerning some important aspects of access to basic SRHR services. The oldest judgment was issued in 2007 which makes 13 years of the Read More

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CSW64 & Beijing+25 – Feminist Declaration and our statement

Twenty-five years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the foundational global document on gender equality, governments at an abbreviated session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) have reaffirmed a commitment to gender equality but, according to leading feminist groups and activists, fell short of committing to Read More

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Statements for the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council

We present statements that the Federation for Women and Family Planning submitted during the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Details on resolutions, panels and debates relevant to SRHR can be found on the website of our partner Sexual Rights Initiative. Statement regarding the situation in Poland on the occasion of the International Women’s Read More

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Polish anti-LGBT zones growing in power, EU reacts

In the recent months in Poland, around 93 local councils in around 14 districts (voivodships) in Poland have adopted anti-LGBTI statements or resolutions. These resolutions are incompatible with the Polish Constitution and basic standards of the international human rights law Poland has undertaken to respect. Their language is scandalous: the resolutions speak of “stopping of Read More

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“Sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe”

he Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 is the most ambitious road map for the empowerment of women and girls everywhere. In 2020, it will be 25 years since the Beijing Platform for Action set strategic objectives and actions for the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern. The Beijing+25 Regional Review Read More

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Statements for the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council

The International Safe Abortion Day  marked the 42nd session of the HUman Rights Council. The Federation for Women and Family Planning issued its own statements or joined statements of our partner Sexual Rights Initiative.   Statement on behalf of the Coalition for EQuality and Choice Right to abortion is an essential part of women’s sexual Read More

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International Safe Abortion Day 2019 in Poland

This theme for 28th September 2019 is “Abortion is Healthcare” with the tagline “My Right to Decide!” and hashtag #MyAbortionMyHealth. In The Federation we have always seen abortion as a matter of health, self-determination, freedom and democracy. Therefore, our input to the celebration of September, 28 is the photo contest and exhibition entitled “Abortion. Poland. Read More

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Joint statement on the outcome of the 41st session of the Human Rights Council

“Critical gains despite backlash”, reads a joint statement by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Plan International, Choice for Youth and Sexuality, Arrow, the Coalition of African Lesbians, the Federation for Women and Family Planning, IPPF, RFSU and AWID on the outcome of the 41st Read More

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Supplemental Information on Poland for the Review by the Committee against Torture

Federation for Women and Family Planning, Women Enabled International, Magdalena Szarota (Lancaster University and Association of Disabled Women. ONE.pl) and independent researchers Agnieszka Król and Agnieszka Wołowicz respectfully present this submission to the Committee against Torture due to its review of Poland’s compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Read More

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Global South Leadership on Women’s and Girls’ Rights

Kindly find below and attached herewith a joint statement by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, CREA, Women Enabled International, Arrow, the Coalition of African Lesbians, the Federation for Women and Family Planning and Akahatá on the outcome of the 40th session of the Human Read More

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Cherry-picking of women’s human rights. Summary of the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Feminist persistence at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has delivered new international standards on women’s human rights to social protection systems, access to public services, and sustainable infrastructure. These gains were achieved in spite of the increasingly polarised political environment at the UN’s biggest annual gathering on women’s rights. “In the Read More

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Poland criticized by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers has expressed serious concern about Poland’s longstanding failure to ensure that women and girls in Poland can access legal abortion care in practice. In a very important decision the Committee of Ministers has urged Poland to implement three landmark judgments on women’s access to abortion from the European Read More

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Statement for the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Federation for Women and Family Planning from Poland, Union Women’s Center from Georgia, “Women and Modern World” Social Charitable Center from Azerbaijan and Women’s Rights Center from Armenia are Economic and Social Council accredited organisations working in the field of women’s rights in Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus and operate on national, regional Read More

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Statement for the 40th Human Rights Council on cultural rights

This statement was delivered at the 40th session of the Human Right Council by the Federation for Women and Family Planning on behalf of the Great Coalition for Equality and Choice from Poland. The statements refers to the report by the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights “Cultural rights: tenth anniversary report“. We Read More

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Fighting drastic anti-choice banners. Case study: Poland

The anti-choice organizations in Poland are becoming more and more visible in the public sphere with their drastic images which instrumentalize dismembered fetuses to distort the truth about abortion. The Right to Life Foundation has been presenting its manipulative exhibition since 2005, but it was not until the elections in 2015 that they could extend Read More

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“Sexual and reproductive health rights and the implication of conscientious objection”

We are delighted to present a new report on SRHR and the conscientious objection. This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee. It aims to provide a comparative overview of the situation in the European Union, in terms of access Read More

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“Abortion is part of our lives”. International Safe Abortion Day 2018 in Poland

September 28 is a globally recognized day that frames campaign activities undertaken by advocates around the world to strengthen an international movement for legal and safe abortion. This year, WGNRR, the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, Ipas Alliance, Campaña 28 de Septiembre LAC and many more partners and allies are joining efforts Read More

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Joint submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Federation for Women and Family Planning, TUS Foundation, Strefa Wenus z Milo Association, Elektrownia Inspiracji Foundation, Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Kobiecych/Association of Women Initiatives and Agnieszka Wołowicz respectfully present this submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in advance of its review of Poland’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Read More

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Barbarian anti-abortion bill back in the fundamentalists’ game. Reactions

Fundamentalists led by activist Kaja Godek forced the Social Policy and Family Committee to debate the repressive “Stop abortion” bill  on Monday (2.07.2018) at 4 pm. Let us recall that this draft law would penalize abortions in case of foetal impairment, which now make up 95% of all legal abortions performed in the Polish hospitals. Read More

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Statements for the 38th Session of the Human Rights Council

This joint statement expresses support for the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and in Practice and commends the Working Group’s strong report to the Council on reasserting equality and countering rollbacks [A /HRC/38/46] Co-signatories: Center for Reproductive Rights, RFSU, IPPF, SRI, The Federation for Women and Family Planning, ASTRA Network, Plan International, Read More

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Rising support for abortion

In April and May pro-choice billboards with the slogan “Women in Poland demand legal abortion” have appeared in different cities and towns across Poland. This campaign was organised by an informal women’s group, which managed to gather financial means in a crowdfunding campaign. The organizers and supporters wished to protest with these billboards against manipulative Read More

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International support against the pending abortion ban in Poland

Positive vote on the draconian draft law “Stop abortion” in the Committee on Justice has resulted not only in many examples of fierce civic opposition like mass mobilization on the Black Friday (23.04; circa 90000 participants), but also it has captured attention of foreign media, NGOs and human rights bodies. Poland has received many proofs Read More

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Over 200 international NGOs appeal for the rejection of “Stop abortion” bill

Poland’s Parliament should listen to the voices of women across Poland and reject a regressive legislative proposal that would erode reproductive rights, over 200 human and women’s rights groups from across the globe said in a statement issued today. The Parliament is debating a draft bill entitled “Stop Abortion.” If adopted, this legislation will severely Read More

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Concerted attack of the Polish fundamentalists & reactions (in Poland and abroad)

Since 2015 when the Law and Justice Party has come to power, atmosphere around women’s rights and freedoms, including the right to abortion, is very tense. In January 2018, the MP referred a draft law banning abortion in case of foetal impairment to the committee for a further discussion. Following massive protests, the decision makers Read More

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“Suffocating the Movement – Shrinking space for women’s rights”

Increasing fundamentalism, conservatism and traditional values started suffocating the women’s movement. Women were physically prevented from moving freely and women’s organisations were threatened and harassed. The shrinking space for civil society organisations has a negative impact on all organisations, but it hits women’s organisations particularly hard. In patriarchal societies, women are excluded from decision-making arenas, Read More

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Statement for the 51st session of the Commission on Population and Development

The Federation for Women and Family Planning with its partners and allies from Central and Eastern Europe welcomes the theme of fifty-first session of the Commission on Population and Development: “Sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration” (9-13.04.2018). Statement for the 51 session of the Commission on Population and Development in a PDF file In Read More

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Statement for the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women

The Federation for Women and Family Planning welcomes the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (12-23.03.208) and its priority theme of “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”. Statement in a PDF file Central and Eastern European region serves as an example of Read More

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International concerns about women’s rights backsliding in Poland

The worsening state of SRHR in Poland has brought multiple reactions from international human rights bodies. Please below find here the most crucial observations and recommendations. Letter of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Poland, the Commissioner refers to recent developments affecting Read More

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Conformism, contempt & conceit – voting on abortion-related bills in the Polish Parliament

10/01 will be remembered as another day when Polish women were betrayed by people who were given mandate to represent their citizens. Citizens and their legislative initiative. Polish MPs have rejected  the “Save women” bill and referred to the committee  the “Stop abortion” bill. We thought we hit rock bottom, then the anti-choice majority knocked Read More

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#25YearsOfWomen’sHell – 25th disgraceful anniversary of the Polish anti-abortion law

7th January 1993 Act on Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Legal Pregnancy Termination (later: the Act) has had a detrimental effect on women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights  for 25 years. Due to the anniversary and upcoming debates about two abortion-related citizens’ bills[1] in the Parliament, the Federation for Women and Read More

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The draft law penalizing abortion in case of foetal impairment submitted to the Parliament

On November, 30 the “Stop Abortion” Civic Committee has tabled 830 000 signatures under the bill that would ban abortion in one of the three cases in which abortion is allowed according to the Bill of 1993. The organisers of the campaign with a strong and active support of the Polish Episcopate and parishes all over Read More

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Limiting availability of contraception – proceeding a draft law on conscience clause for pharmacists

The Polish Bureau of Research (BAS) has positively evaluated a draft law that would introduce conscience clause for pharmacists and owners of drug stores. According to the law elaborated and delivered by the Federation of Polish Catholic Pharmacists they will have rights  1) to refuse to sell drugs should they be incompatible with their conscience Read More

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EP’s resolution on the situation in Poland, incl. reproductive rights

The European Parliament is calling on Poland to address the current restrictions to the independence of the judiciary, freedom of assembly, sexual and reproductive rights, and denial of asylum-seekers’ access to the Polish territory. The Parliament adopted a resolution that highlights the further deterioration of the situation in Poland since the previous European Parliament resolution Read More

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Attempts to use the non-sovereign Constitutional Tribunal in order to restrict women’s rights to legal abortion

A group of extremist MPs, mainly from the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) and Kukiz’15, submitted a motion challenging the constitutionality of one of the cases, which allows for abortion according to The Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Permissibility of Abortion Act. MPs claim that the right to abortion in case Read More

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Poland against UN standards on abortion and capital punishment

The ongoing battle around fundamental reproductive rights in Poland becomes even more fierce. Government’s attempts to criminalize abortions and make one of the toughest anti-abortion laws even stricter are expressed in its statement delivered to the Human Rights Committee. Polish non-governmental organizations are deeply concerned about the official remarks to the General Comment No 36 Read More

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“Save Women” bill with 500 000 signatures submitted to the Polish Parliament

On October, 23 the “Save Women” Civic Committee has tabled almost 500 000 signatures collected under the bill on women’s rights and conscious parenthood. The lower chamber has now three months to initiate debate on the draft legislation. It is on the ruling party if it will be sent to further proceeding – as promised Read More

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Doctors for Women help women in Poland access emergency contraception

Doctors for Women (Lekarze Kobietom) is an informal initiative that unites doctors from all across Poland who want to help women access emergency contraception. Created as a response to Ministry of Health decision to reinstate the requirement for doctor’s prescription for emergency contraception the initiative aims to fill the wide gap of reproductive health needs. Read More

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Joint Statement on Access to Safe and Legal Abortion Globally

HRC36: General Debate Item 8 25th September 2017  Joint statement on behalf of Action Canada for Population and Development; Federation for Women and Family Planning; Center for Reproductive Rights; Ipas; ActionAid; Advocates for Youth; ARC International (Allied Rainbow Communities International); Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW); Asociación Pro-Bienestar de la Familia Colombiana Read More

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Universal Periodic Review of Poland – statement for the 36th session of Human Rights Council

This statement is made on behalf of the Federation for Women and Family Planning. Poland has yet failed to implement any of the recommendations it accepted pertaining to sexual and reproductive health from the previous Cycles. The situation is getting worse each year because of Polish authorities’ activity and abandonment. First, Poland has one of Read More

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Support the HRC36 Joint NGO statement on safe and legal abortion

In support of the September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, Sexual Rights Initiative, Center for Reproductive Rights and Ipas have developed a joint statement on abortion rights for delivery at the upcoming 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The session runs from Sept. 11-29, and Read More

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International Convening on conscientious objection in Urugway

Montevideo, August 4, 2017─Fifty experts from 20 countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe, among them executive director and lawyer of Federation, gathered at the first international convening on conscientious objection to abortion have concluded that the refusal to provide legal abortion services is hurting women all over the world and must be tackled. The Read More

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“Save Women” Civic Commitee finally established!

The situation of women’s rights in Poland continues to deteriorate. In the recent months we have witnessed few attempts to further restrictions the current law on abortion. At this moment there are three legal initiatives aimed to ban abortion due to fetal malformation: civic initiative undertaken by fanatic anti abortion organization willing to propose a Read More

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The Federation’s commentary to the Polish Government’s Report within the UPR 2017

On 9 May 2017 the government of Poland presented a report in front of the UN Human Rights Council within the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) regarding the observance of human rights in Poland and the realization of i.a. the Universal Human Rights Declaration. During the 27th session of the UPR as many as five states Read More

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The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice

The Great Coalition for Equality and Choice was established as a reaction to the offensive of anti-women groups. The draft regulations directly threatening the life and health of women, restricting access to emergency contraception, frightening doctors in their work places, the shocking billboard campaigns, the fight against comprehensive sexuality education, as well as the systemic Read More

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International Women’s Day 2017: Polish Women Strike and Protest Again

Following last October’s Black Protest and as part of the International Women’s Strike in over 80 Polish cities women took to the streets to protest against violating their rights. Polish women demanded among others: access to safe and legal abortion, free modern contraception including over-the-counter emergency contraception, and to the newest generation of prenatal testing, Read More

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Polish Government to Limit Access to the Morning-After Pill

The Polish government wants to restrict access to emergency contraception. A governmental draft law approved on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 states that hormonal contraceptives will be available on prescription only, should the draft bill be discussed and adopted by the parliament. Since 2015, based on a decision of the European Commission, the morning-after pill ellaOne Read More

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Induced Abortion Worldwide according to Guttmacher Institute

The Guttmacher Institute is a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and globally. In May 2016 Guttmacher Institute developed a factsheet that aims to raise awareness about women’s and girl’s rights to safe and legal abortion. Click here to access the factsheet.

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Polish women went on strike and stopped – for now – proceedings on the anti-abortion bill

On Friday, September 23rd, the Polish Sejm sent to further proceedings draft legislation aiming to introduce a total ban on abortion and criminalize women for terminating pregnancies with up to 5 years of prison. Women and doctors could face prison if convicted of causing what the proposed bill called “death of a conceived child”. Moreover Read More

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Draft bill “Stop Abortion” – rejected in Polish Parliament!!

With 352 votes the Polish Parliament has now officialy DISMISSED the anti-abortion civic bill. 58 MP were in favour of further proceedings, 18 abstained from vote. Beata Szydło, Polish Prime Minister, announced a future bill that will support all women experiencing so called “difficult pregnancies”. She also announced the creation of a programme of support Read More

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Black Friday for Polish women

On Thursday, September 22nd, Polish members of Parliament debated on two civic proposals of law concerning abortion. The “Stop Abortion” initiative assumes a complete prohibition of abortion with no exception. Additionally it proposes criminalization of women who committed abortion illegally up to five years. The project excludes pre-natal tests and sexuality education. It equals women’s Read More

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Save Women demonstration

On 18th of September thousands gathered outside the national parliament in Warsaw to protest against proposed stricter abortion law. Demonstration was organized by women’s initiatives and organizations, including Federation for Women and Family Planning. Both, the “Stop Abortion” draft law and Save Women draft law, will be debated in polish parliament next Thursday (22nd September).

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Stop this crackdown on abortion in Poland – Krystyna Kacpura’s opinion in The Guardian

As Poland’s rightwing ruling party seeks to tighten an already restrictive abortion law, there is a growing solidarity among women in the struggle for our reproductive rights. In my desk drawer, I have the signatures of 1,500 Polish women who support liberalising our country’s abortion law, which bans the procedure except in cases of rape, Read More

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International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion

UN agencies supporting women’s rights have been asked today to send “a strong signal” to governments around the world by passing a resolution at this year’s UN General Assembly in September to make International Safe Abortion Day an official UN day. An Open Letter was sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of Read More

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Citizen’s draft liberalising abortion regulations already in Sejm

A draft seeking to liberalise Poland’s abortion laws prepared by the “Save the Women” Legislative Initiative Committee reached the Sejm (lower house) on 4th of August. The committee collected 215 000 signatures under the draft. Few weeks ago a citizen’s anti-abortion bill completely banning abortion and making it punishable by a prison term reached the Read More