Thousands March In Poland Against New Anti-Abortion Laws

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Thousands March In Poland Against New Anti-Abortion Laws

Thousands of people have gathered in protest across Poland following the implementation of the country's new abortion laws. The protests were held in many of Poland's major cities with many protesters wearing green handkerchiefs, the symbol used in Argentina by pro-choice protestors who last year successfully campaigned to have Argentina's strict abortion laws overturned.

The new laws make abortion illegal in almost all circumstances with the only exceptions being cases of rape and incest. The new law will mean that women carrying children with low chance of survival, will be expected to carry the full-term of the pregnancy and that they will also be required to give birth to children known to have severe disabilities such as Downs Syndrome.

While the law was voted for by parliament last year, it is only this week that the law has been enacted. The law has been supported by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which is regarded as highly conservative and far-right, and by the powerful Catholic church, which still holds a powerful sway over much of Poland's population.

The laws in Poland were already strict before the new laws were enacted and only around 2,000 take place legally in Poland each year, though it is thought that as many as 200,000 women travel overseas to have abortions or have them performed illegally within the country.

The new wave of protests was condemned by the government, and marked as illegal, for posing a health risk due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Krzysztof Sobolewski, a senior PiS official, stated:

"People who organise these protests... should realise they are risking the lives of the participants and those close to them, because it threatens, God forbid, a new coronavirus wave."

The protests were however overwhelmingly peaceful with only a handful of arrests made.

The new laws have been condemned by feminist and human-rights groups, including Amnesty International. The organisation published a statement on its website saying:

"Today is a terrible day for women and girls in Poland. This harmful ruling roll back on pregnant people's sexual and reproductive rights and puts their health at risk. This dangerous ruling is the latest in a coordinated and systematic wave of attacks on women's human rights by Polish lawmakers. Legal prohibitions on abortion do not prevent abortion or reduce the rates of abortion. Instead, they serve only to damage women's health by pushing abortions underground or forcing women to travel to foreign countries to access abortion care they need and to which they have a right."

h/t: Reuters

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Thinking Humanity: Thousands March In Poland Against New Anti-Abortion Laws
Thousands March In Poland Against New Anti-Abortion Laws
Thousands of people have gathered in protest across Poland following the implementation of the country's new abortion laws. The protests were held acr
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