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English Section

UPDATE: Polish president in move to allow abortions in some cases of foetal defects

30.10.2020 15:03
Hours ahead of a major protest planned against tighter abortion laws, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Friday he had submitted a bill to allow terminations of foetuses with serious defects which would have been born dead.
President Andrzej Duda, pictured last week.
President Andrzej Duda, pictured last week. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

Thousands have taken to the streets around Poland for seven straight days to protest against a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal which in practice signalled a near-total ban on abortion in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.

The biggest demonstration so far is planned for Friday afternoon in Warsaw.

Duda’s proposal could prove a way of defusing street protests amid a record rise in coronavirus infections in Poland.

In a statement released on Friday, Duda said that he understood the concerns of women following the ruling by the country’s top court last week.

Talks with experts, doctors, lawyers

He added that after consulting experts, doctors and lawyers, he had decided to submit a bill amending abortion laws to parliament.

He said his proposal would allow abortions in cases when “prenatal tests or other medical indications point to a high probability that a child will be born dead or… with an incurable disease or defect that will inevitably and directly lead to the death of the child,” regardless of doctors’ efforts.

He added that his bill took into account a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal last week that termination of a malformed foetus violates Poland’s constitution.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has issued a plea for Friday’s planned protest to be called off amid an escalating epidemic.

Poland reported a record rise in coronavirus infections for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, confirming 21,629 new cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early March.

(pk)

Source: PAP, Polish Radio