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Poland’s ruling party says it won’t back proposed abortion restrictions

30.12.2022 15:30
Poland’s governing conservatives have said they will not support a new citizens’ bill that seeks to restrict the country's abortion law.
Rafał Bochenek
Rafał Bochenek PR24/AK

Rafał Bochenek, a spokesman for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, told Polish state news agency PAP on Friday that adopting the proposal could “encourage the far left to call for abortion on demand.”  

Asked about the new bill, which was submitted to parliament on Wednesday by a group of activists led by anti-abortion campaigner Kaja Godek, Bochenek said: “Law and Justice won’t be supporting Kaja Godek’s bill to toughen Poland’s abortion law.”

He added: “The proposed provisions would only give far-left circles reason to seek relaxation of Poland’s abortion law in the future, to demand abortion on demand, without any limitations.” 

"Because of this, the issue is closed for us," Bochenek told PAP.

Bid to 'tighten protection of life'

According to its drafters, the new anti-abortion bill aims to “tighten the protection of the life of children at the earliest stage of development.”

Godek, whose Life and Family Foundation collected signatures needed to submit the bill to parliament, has said that the proposed legislation "represents a response to a system of abortion-related assistance that has grown in Poland in recent years.”

Entitled "Abortion is Murder," the new bill seeks to ban the public promotion of activities aiding the termination of pregnancy in Poland or abroad, according to officials.

The proposed legislation would also ban public appeals for the termination of pregnancy and information campaigns about ways to terminate pregnancy in Poland and abroad, reporters were told.  

Moreover, the bill envisages fines for “the production, recording, ordering, purchase, storage, possession, presentation, transportation and sending of printed material, recorded material or other objects or data media featuring such content,” officials have said.

Such activities would carry a penalty of two years’ imprisonment, the PAP news agency reported.

Meanwhile, those found guilty of urging a woman to have an abortion would face up to three years in prison.

Those found guilty of “persuading a woman to terminate pregnancy,” if “the conceived child is able to live independently outside the body of the pregnant woman,” could receive a prison sentence of between six months and eight years, according to officials.  

Also, under the bill, if a woman dies as a result of an abortion, the person who persuaded her to terminate the pregnancy could face up to 12 years in prison, the PAP news agency reported. 

Under existing law, abortion is allowed in Poland only when the pregnancy endangers the life or health of the woman or if it is a result of "a forbidden act," such as rape or incest.

The country's abortion regulations were last modified after its Constitutional Tribunal in October 2020 ruled that abortion due to serious fetal defects and severe illnesses was unconstitutional, the PAP news agency reported.

The ruling prompted a wave of protests across the country, it noted.


Source: PAP, dorzeczy.pl