Today, history happened before our eyes. After heated debate, members of the Polish lower chamber of parliament decided that a committee will begin work on projects that have a chance to change the anti-abortion law in Poland.

Before the Sejm debate, we met with Trzecia Droga MPs to convince them to vote in favor of all of the draft bills on abortion. We held long talks to make this success happen. For the first time since 1996, draft bills on the legalization and decriminalization of abortion will be discussed in the second reading.

We have been waiting for this moment for years, but it must be remembered that only the first stage of a long fight has been completed. There is still a lot of work, meetings, discussions, and negotiations standing in the way of liberalization of the law.

We are not afraid of this work, actually we are ready for it. The FEDERA Foundation for Women and Family Planning has been helping Polish women access abortion and fighting for a new, better law for over 30 years. We have decades experience in advocating for legal, safe, and accessible abortion, including in hospitals – more than anyone who will be a member of the parliamentary committee.

Therefore, we cannot imagine that non-governmental organizations such as the FEDERA will not be invited to to participate in the commission’s work. We know what women’s needs today are, and we are the ones to talk to them and support them every day, along with advocating in hospitals and educating doctors. The work of the commission will be neither complete nor satisfactory until women themselves have their representatives in it.

Today’s events are obviously encouraging and finally open the door to a revolution in the protection of women’s rights in Poland. However, it is still far from complete success. We know that there are opponents of women’s rights on the parliamentary benches, and we also know that our rights are too often treated as a political bargaining chip. We will do everything in our power to stop those who disregard our needs and the voice of society. Abortion in Poland must be legal, safe, consistent with international standards, and available as part as of the national health care system.

We won the battle, but the fight continues, and FEDERA will not rest until every person in need has systemically guaranteed access to abortion. Because we are always on the side of women.