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Monday, February 26, 2024

What about easier access to abortion and the morning-after pill? Protesters warn the new government

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Remember the promise regarding abortion, protesters remind the government. This concerns the so-called rescue act, recommendations for doctors regarding termination of pregnancy and the regulation on the morning-after pill.

These were loud, although not very numerous, protests. Protests by women who, on the 31st anniversary of the abortion compromise, decided to send an alarm signal to the government. – This is what we went to the polls with. What we took to the streets during women’s strikes is still important to us – reminds Marta Zarańska, organizer of the “Legal abortion now – last call” protest in Gdańsk.

It was women who came out in large numbers to the elections and gave a chance to rebuild democratic Poland. Now they expect their demands to be met. Just as they were promised during the election campaign. – It is no wonder that women today expect the government to fulfill these election promises – says Izabela Leszczyna, Minister of Health.

READ ALSO: Justyna Wydrzyńska was sentenced for helping a woman who wanted to have an abortion

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The Minister of Health announces that consultations with doctors will be held in January – guidelines for hospitals will be announced to ensure the safety of women in high-risk pregnancies and doctors who will make decisions about terminating them. – Doctors are afraid. Therefore, in order to ensure, first of all, the safety of women, but also the safety of doctors, who must be able to make decisions and have some security comfort that the prosecutor will not come to them in a moment – explains the Minister of Health. For now, these will be guidelines.

READ ALSO: Women are demanding changes to the abortion law

The so-called rescue bill is pending in the Sejm, submitted by the Left in the first days of the new parliamentary term. – An act that, if it became law, would guarantee that no doctor can hide behind the fact that he is afraid of the prosecutor’s office if he helps a woman terminate her pregnancy – emphasizes Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, Minister of Family, Labor and Social Policy from the New Left.

Honest on the issue of abortion: changes in the law are neededTVN24

Social expectations

After PiS, by the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal chaired by Julia Przyłębska, tightened the law on termination of pregnancy, women took to the streets in mass protests. They experienced harassment and repression from the then authorities. During the campaign, the Civic Coalition and the Left promised them change, and now women are impatient that nothing has happened in the Sejm so far. – The rescue act is absolutely necessary to be done “yesterday”. So that people are not punished for helping their wives, partners and friends – explains the organizer of the protest “Legal abortion, now – last call” in Poznań from the “PyRA” collective.

– I hope that Marshal Szymon Hołownia will proceed with them and we will simply start working on them – says Joanna Scheuring Wielgus, Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage, MP from the Left, about the regulations. – There is no freezer, there is no slowdown. The leaders of the ruling coalition will certainly talk to each other about this topic, notes Michał Kobosko, MP from Poland 2050.

Dziemianowicz-Bąk: The Left has already submitted two bills regarding abortion to the Sejm

Dziemianowicz-Bąk: The Left has already submitted two bills regarding abortion to the SejmTVN24

Difference of opinion

It is no secret that the coalition partners have different attitudes towards abortion. The Third Way wants a referendum on this matter. The Platform and the Left promised legal abortion until the 12th week, and a bill on this matter is also pending in the Sejm. – We are only de facto taking over the government. Please give us a chance to introduce these laws. Such ideological laws are always difficult, explains Bartosz Arłukowicz, MP from the Civic Coalition.

If it were possible to find a majority in the Sejm on this matter, it is certain that President Andrzej Duda would veto the law on legal abortion until the 12th week. – The president clearly said that he is pro-life – explains Łukasz Rzepecki from the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. There is no majority to override the president’s veto. PiS will not support the bill.

READ ALSO: They cannot be silenced, they have the temperament of a lioness. How will women change Poland in 2023?

– This current proposal already crosses all limits, so I think it will be unacceptable to a significant part of MPs, but also to society – argues Marcin Horała, PiS MP. The Minister of Health told TVN’s “Faktom” that she wants to eliminate the need to have a prescription for the morning-after pill as soon as possible. – We are developing an act that will restore the law that was in force until 2017 – says Izabela Leszczyna.

PiS has changed the regulations so much that the minister cannot issue a regulation on this matter. Izabela Leszczyna announces that she wants to agree on the submission of the bill with the Prime Minister on Tuesday, although there is a threat of a presidential veto. The women are still protesting peacefully, but they say they may get really angry soon.

Main photo source: Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

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