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Manifestations de masse en Pologne contre la nouvelle loi sur l’avortement

Thousands of people have joined protests in Warsaw and other Polish cities against the latest attempt of the government to restrict access to abortion.

So far, the procedure is allowed only if the life of the foetus is at risk, if there is a grave threat to the health of the mother, or if the pregnancy was the result of a rape or an incest (article 4a ustawa z dnia 7 stycznia 1993 r. o planowaniu rodziny, ochronie płodu ludzkiego i warunkach dopuszczalności przerywania ciąży [Law on family planning, protection of the human foetus and conditions of acceptability of termination of pregnancy].

In 2016, anti-abortion activists, led mainly by a group called Stop Aborcji [Stop Abortion] with indirect support of the Catholic Church and the ruling party Law and Justice, attempted to impose a total ban on abortion. The new law, which threatened to imprison women seeking the procedure as well as doctors who would perform it, faced a mass protest. Around 55 000 people attended protests in Warsaw. The protesters, dressed in black (the march was called Black Friday), marched through the capital to the headquarters of the ruling party and parliament. Over 200 nongovernmental organizations signed a public petition to reject the new law.

In 2016, the activists of pro-choice decided to counter with their own proposal for a new law Ratujmy Kobiety [Save Women], which would liberalise the current abortion law. At the same time, anti-abortion groups announced that they were going to try to introduce a total ban. On 23 September 2016, both proposals were presented in a parliamentary debate that was widely covered by the media. The parliament dropped the bill of pro-choice Ratujmy Kobiety [Save Women] and decided to send the anti-abortion bill to the parliament commission. In response to this fact, activists proposed a national strike by using the social media to call for women to either skip work on Monday 3 October 2016, or to wear black if they could not. The protest would become known internationally as Black Monday. The voting process showed that only deputies of the ruling party are against the liberalization of law (free access for abortion).

The ruling party, after the mass protests in Poland of March 2016, has dropped the new anti-abortion law. However, the pressure of religious groups pushed the ruling party to defend the reproductive rights. The new law (which came into effect in July 2017) introduced an obligatory prescription for emergency contraceptives (day-after pill).

On March 2018, the parliament commission had issued a positive opinion of the bill of anti-abortion law. The proposal of law made by the Stop Abortion group is now ready to take the next steps of the parliamentary process. In 23 March 2018, thousands of Poles took to the streets in protest to the introduction of the new restricted law.

27 mars 2018