Protests Continue as Poland Implements Controversial Near-Total Abortion Ban

The Polish government has implemented the controversial near-total abortion ban, setting off another round of protests from women’s rights groups, as they rallied in Warsaw and nearby cities late Wednesday. The controversial ruling, which was issued in October by Poland’s Constitutional Court, prohibits the termination of pregnancies with fetal defects. Abortion will only be allowed if the pregnancy was due to rape or incest or if the mother’s life or health is at risk. The demonstrators are demanding for a more liberal abortion law.

Read: Restrictive Abortion Laws in Poland Incites Mass Protests

Screenshot from Mona Eltahawy's Twitter post

NPR. Org: There were 1,100 abortions performed last year in Poland; of those, 1,074 were due to fetal abnormalities

Screenshot from NPR.Org

According to NPR.Org, protesters gathered in the streets of Warsaw and other cities on Wednesday night after Poland’s government announced a near-total ban on abortion had suddenly gone into effect.

Abortion will now only be permitted in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s health or life is in danger.

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, a nationalist party aligned with the Roman Catholic Church, has moved to implement conservative policies and grant lawmakers more power to appoint judges.

Fox News: The restriction of abortion comes amid a broader erosion of civil liberties and democratic norms under right-wing populist governments in Poland, as well as Hungary.

Screenshot from Fox News

Fox News disclosed that the rally on the streets of Warsaw and other cities late Wednesday was led by a women’s rights group, Women’s Strike. More anti-government demonstrations are planned for Thursday evening.

Poland’s top human rights official denounced the further restriction of what was already one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, calling it a tragedy for women.

The erosion of democratic rights in the two nations also is spreading to other parts of ex-communist central Europe, presenting a challenge for U.S. President Joe Biden as he seeks to restore democratic norms at home and abroad.