English Section

New Polish bill seeks to legalise abortion up to 12 weeks

15.11.2023 07:00
A group of Polish lawmakers has submitted a bill to make abortion legal up to 12 weeks after conception, with provisions for longer periods in certain circumstances.
Lawmakers with Polands Left group unveil their bill to legalise abortion up to 12 weeks, in parliament on Monday, November 13, 2023.
Lawmakers with Poland's Left group unveil their bill to legalise abortion up to 12 weeks, in parliament on Monday, November 13, 2023.PAP/Rafał Guz

MPs with the Left group announced their initiative on Monday and the draft legislation was published on the parliament's website the next day, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Under the bill, "every person has the right to information, education, counseling and the means that enable the full exercise of the right to conscious parenting."

Abortion would be allowed until 12 weeks after conception, and also later if the pregnancy "poses a danger to life or health;" if the foetus has developmental or genetic defects; and if there are grounds to assume the pregnancy is the result of "a forbidden act."

Healthcare providers would be required to terminate a pregnancy "within 72 hours of the request," the PAP news agency reported.

The bill would also make it legal "to terminate a pregnancy with the consent of the pregnant person, and to help a pregnant person terminate their pregnancy."

The proposal would come into force three months after being enacted and published, the PAP news agency reported.

Abortion is allowed in Poland only when the pregnancy "poses a threat to the life or health" of the woman, or in cases 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 ruling prompted a wave of protests across the country.

Poles elected a new set of 460 MPs and 100 senators when they went to the ballot box last month.

Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday named outgoing Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as prime minister-designate, tasking him with forming a new Cabinet.

Morawiecki's conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party won Poland's October 15 election, but lost its parliamentary majority and looks unlikely to stay in power for a third consecutive term.

A bloc of pro-EU opposition parties, including the Left, on Monday secured a resounding victory in Poland's new parliament during its first key vote to elect a house Speaker.

Poland's pro-European opposition groups on Friday signed an agreement to form a coalition government, pledging to restore the rule of law, promote green energy and relax abortion rules, among other policies.


Source: PAP, Rynek Zdrowia