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Abortion. Sejm – debate on the projects of the Left, the Civic Coalition and the Third Way. Anna Maria Żukowska and Urszula Pasławska comment

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Developing a common project on abortion will require compromise and, in fact, a step back from all parties, emphasized Urszula Pasławska from the PSL-Trzecia Droga club in “Kropka nad i” on TVN24. Anna Maria Żukowska, chairwoman of the Left Club, said that if all submitted projects are submitted to the extraordinary committee, MPs will also work on having a “common strategy” on how to act in this body.

On Thursday, the Sejm held a long-hour discussion on a total of four bills regarding abortion – two of them were submitted by the Left, and one each by the Civic Coalition and Third Way. A vote on them is to take place on Friday. Representatives of the ruling coalition say that they will want all projects to proceed to further work.

This is how we reported on the parliamentary debate on abortion on tvn24.pl

Pasławska: a wise politician listens to different voices

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The course of the discussion was commented on by MPs who actively participated in it themselves – the chairwoman of the Left club, Anna Maria Żukowska, and an MP from the PSL-Trzecia Droga club, deputy head of PSL, Urszula Pasławska.

READ ALSO: This is what the parliamentary debate on abortion looked like

Pasławska pointed out that “the topic of abortion has been discussed for many months and years.” – But in fact, the narrative of the last few weeks, quite aggressive, quite forcing the debate, has actually flattened the debate on women's rights and what women expect today – she said.

– I was glad that this debate finally took place and I am glad that we will start working on the laws. But I hope that we will work in the same way on (other – ed.) important solutions and we are waiting for these solutions – said Pasławska.

– I encourage you to be open to discussion. A wise politician listens to different voices, both left and right, and this discussion is very necessary today. However, the advantage of the Polish People's Party is freedom of worldview. However, my colleagues assured me that if the result of the referendum liberalized the abortion law, they would hide their views and vote according to the referendum result, she added.

Żukowska reacted to Pasławska's words and said that she “absolutely disagrees with the thesis that the Left, when it comes to women's rights, deals only with reproductive rights, including abortion. – Because this is really the whole package of activities that it deals with including the Minister of Family, (Labour – ed.) and Social Policy – she emphasized.

What would the referendum question be?

Pasławska was asked about what the question should be in the referendum on abortion, which her party's representatives call for.

– It is very important to focus on the questions today. Certainly a question about the liberalization of abortion law, because that is where we are heading – introducing a compromise or possibly maintaining the one that has been in force for 30 years – she pointed out.

She added that “maybe” there will be a few questions. – The idea is that instead of 460 MPs, 70 percent of whom are men, 30 million Poles or as close to them as possible would vote – she added.

Żukowska, in response to Pasławska's words, pointed out that “the process of holding a referendum itself does not change the regulations itself.” – So then we have to go through all this, we waste time, we lose public money. And we are returning to the starting point, where we are today, which is that draft laws have been prepared and these draft laws must also find a majority in the Sejm and be voted on, she said.

Żukowska on whether a “common strategy” is possible

The MPs were also asked about the work of the extraordinary committee for examining all draft laws on abortion, which the Sejm may appoint on Friday – according to Marshal Hołownia's announcements. Żukowska admitted that she is one of her club's candidates to sit on this committee.

– We agreed with Marshal Hołownia that if everything works out as planned, i.e. that all projects will be referred to the committee, we will also work on having a common strategy on how to work in the committee in order to there was some effect so that there would not be a feeling that it would just quickly pass through this committee and evaporate, she said.

– We want an in-depth discussion to take place with the participation of civil society, to which the Marshal is very attached. And here we are talking about a public hearing, something a la the so-called “citizens' assemblies” that were in Ireland, but of course they have a different constitution. But the point is to choose solutions that will give us the feeling that we are moving forward, added the chairwoman of the Left Club.

Pasławska: reaching a compromise will result in all parties retreating

Urszula Pasławska was asked whether she believed that it was possible to develop a common project on abortion at a later stage of parliamentary work.

– I think that developing such a project is difficult, but it will require compromise and, in fact, a step back from all parties. It is crucial to seek consent here as well, not only within the October 15 coalition, but also outside it, to ensure that these regulations will enter into force, she said.

– But on the other hand, I also think that this first step, i.e. supporting our bill, would give women some breathing room, (that it is – editor) a step in the right direction – she added.

Main photo source: TVN24

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