On October 22, 2020, the illegitimate Polish Constitutional Court ruled that access to abortion due to “high probability of severe and irreversible foetal disability or incurable disease threatening its life” is unconstitutional. Fierce protests have been held incessantly following the decision of the CT.
On 27 January 2021, the text of the illegal Constitutional Court statement was published in the Journal of Laws which means its formal entry into force of the decision. The publication sparked protests across the entire Poland.
In response to this cruelty of the politicians backed by the Catholic Church and religious fundamentalists, the representatives of Polish feminist organisations and MPs from Left wing party (Lewica) created the Legislative Committee and on 3 February 2021 organised the press conference where they presented the draft bill called Legal Abortion Without Compromise. Further they will formally register the Committee and start the process of collection of 100,000 signatures for this civic draft bill to be tabled at the Polish Parliament for debate.
The conference was attended by representatives of women’s organizations and movements that are part of the Committee, including Kamila Ferenc from the Federation for Women and Family Planning and Aleksandra Magryta from the Great Coalition for Equality and Choice, together with Polish Women’s Strike – Marta Lempart and Bożena Przyłuska, Abortion Dream Team – Karolina Więckiewicz and Natalia Broniarczyk, Lodz Girls for Girls – Aleksandra Knapik-Gauza, , Women’s Rights Center – Urszula Nowakowska and deputies of the Left party (Lewica): Katarzyna Kotula, Wanda Nowicka, Marcelina Zawisza, Magdalena Biejat, Joanna Senyszyn, Monika Falej, Katarzyna Ueberhan, Katarzyna Kretkowska.
The main thesis of the draft bill Legal Abortion Without Compromise include:
- abortion available under the public health scheme until week 12th week without asking the patient for the reason;
- abortion available under the public health scheme after the 12th week in the case of foetal defects or when pregnancy is a result of a criminal act;
- strict deadlines as regards providing abortion services and sanctions on doctors for abusing of the refusal of care on the ground of conscience;
- duty for the directors of hospitals to hire subcontractors in the event of refusal of care on the grounds of conscience by all doctors working in the facility;
- decriminalization of abortion: no criminal penalties for doctors and persons assisting in abortions in violation of the provisions of the restrictive anti-abortion act;
- simplification and acceleration of the “objection procedure” serving to challenge refusal of service/doctor’s opinion (24 hours deadline for reply);
- prenatal testing programme will cover specialist tests such as PAPP-A and ßhCG for all patients which are performed in the 1st trimester of pregnancy to detect potential illness of the foetus.
Please follow the developments of the Committee for Legal Abortion Without Compromise here and support the process of collecting of signatures. The Committee’s web page will be launched soon where the text of the bill will be presented and the information on the modalities of signing the bill will be included.
Stay tuned and spread the good news! We are not giving up!