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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poles hold more protests against near-total abortion ban

30.01.2021 07:00
Hundreds took to the streets of the capital Warsaw and other major Polish cities for a third night of protests on Friday against tightening the country’s abortion laws.
Protests in Warsaw on Friday, sparked by a decision to publish a ruling from the Constitutional Tribunal, the countrys top court, restricting access to abortion.
Protests in Warsaw on Friday, sparked by a decision to publish a ruling from the Constitutional Tribunal, the country’s top court, restricting access to abortion.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Those who marched in Warsaw held up banners featuring such slogans as "Abortion is my right" and "Abortion with no borders."

Police in the Polish capital used tear gas in an attempt to disperse demonstrators who gathered at Roman Dmowski roundabout in the city centre, the PAP news agency reported.

Warsaw police said on Saturday they had detained six people over incidents including disturbing the peace and insulting officers in the previous evening.

Friday marked the third night of country-wide protests, held in defiance of a ban on large gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

People took to the streets in other cities on Friday evening, including Łódź, central Poland, Katowice, the capital city of the Silesian Region, and Wrocław in the west.

The demonstrations were sparked by a government announcement that a contentious ruling from the Constitutional Tribunal, restricting access to abortion, would come into legal force.

The court's detailed verdict was published in an official gazette on Wednesday night, a step necessary for it to take effect.

In October, the court ruled that termination of pregnancies due to foetal defects should be banned, eliminating the most common of the few legal grounds for abortion in the predominantly Catholic country.

Under the new rules, abortions will only be permitted in cases of rape and incest, and when the mother's life or health is endangered.

(ał)

Source: PAP