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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish president ‘saddened’ at abortion law demos but ‘understands’ women protesters

28.10.2020 23:49
Polish President Andrzej Duda has said he is “saddened” at ongoing protests against a tightening of abortion laws but “understands” women who have taken to the streets around the country.
Audio
Polish President Andrzej Duda, pictured last week.
Polish President Andrzej Duda, pictured last week. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

Speaking to private broadcaster Polsat News on Wednesday, Duda appealed for protesters to stay calm. At the same time, he condemned "acts of aggression, profanation, insulting religious feelings, attacks on churches, vulgar behaviour and words, and intimidation of people."

Seven straight days of demonstrations have seen protesters daubing slogans on church buildings and disrupting masses.

 “I am very saddened by this situation. I understand the women who are protesting… although everyone knows my views and knows that I am against eugenic abortion," Duda said, referring to a decision on Thursday by the country’s top court that termination of a malformed foetus violates Poland’s constitution.

Duda is self-isolating after recently testing positive for the coronavirus.

Polish conservative leader Jarosław Kaczyński earlier on Wednesday lashed out at the “criminal” opposition for encouraging street protests amid an escalating coronavirus epidemic.

His comments came after demonstrations in a slew of cities against a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal which in practice signals a near-total ban on abortion in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.

Poland on Wednesday reported a record 18,820 new coronavirus infections and a record 236 new deaths, its worst daily toll since the start of the pandemic.

(pk)

Source: Polish Radio/PAP

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