The path to legal abortion in Poland will not be easy, but the abolition of prescriptions for the morning-after pill will happen much faster. Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced that the government is to propose an amendment to the law on this matter.
It’s time to pay off the debt incurred three months ago. – Women turned out in droves and helped us win the elections – emphasizes Katarzyna Kotula, Minister for Equality and MP from the Left.
The campaign promise is to become a fact and the morning-after pill will be available without a prescription. – We will propose an amendment to the act, which will make this type of contraceptives available without a prescription – announced Prime Minister Donald Tusk. – Those women who went to the polls thinking that it was high time for reproductive rights to be respected in Poland can feel uplifted because it looks like something has finally moved in that direction – commented Antonina Lewandowska from the FEDERA Foundation for Women and Family Planning.
The regulations will have to pass the Sejm, because PiS specifically changed the pharmaceutical law seven years ago to introduce the requirement for a prescription for the morning-after pill. – Law and Justice introduced this in the previous term out of concern for women’s health – argues Józefa Szczurek-Żelazko, an MP from Law and Justice.
Thus, the former rulers pushed Poland to last place on the European continent in terms of access to contraception. While Polish women are the only ones in Europe who need to have a prescription for emergency contraception, since 2016 Poles have been one of the few in Europe who do not need a prescription for potency pills. The lack of prescriptions is, according to the previous team, “the benefit outweighs the risk.” The prescription for emergency contraception was intended to prevent “unjustified consumption.”
– Poland is a country where being a woman is extremely difficult – says Lewandowska. However, the new government assures that it will be easier. – Normality, modernity, regaining the right to choose – declares Kotula.
How does the morning-after pill work?
The “morning after” pill is a safe contraception, taken after unprotected intercourse – it prevents ovulation, but does not have an abortifacient effect. – It’s a matter of postponing menstruation. Once pregnancy has already occurred – there are no consequences, the pregnancy will continue to develop – explains Dr. Anna Parzyńska, gynecologist and author of the Doctor Ashtanga blog.
The Ministry of Health will specify who will be able to buy it without a prescription. – It will limit the availability of this tablet for people over 15 years of age – says Izabela Leszczyna, Minister of Health, MP from the Civic Coalition.
There is apparently agreement in the ruling coalition regarding the tablet. – I don’t expect any special fights here – says Szymon Hołownia, Speaker of the Sejm.
The opposition is waiting for the project. – Everyone will be able to vote on this bill according to their conscience or discretion – emphasizes Katarzyna Sójka, an MP from Law and Justice.
A question about the president’s conscience. – I cannot rule out that the president will veto this bill, so of course we have in reserve the method of regulation – assures the Prime Minister. After years of neglect, women need much more specific actions. – Abolishing the prescription for the morning-after pill is the absolute minimum – emphasizes Lewandowska.
Main photo source: Fakty TVN