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English Section

Polish protests over abortion ruling take aim at churches

25.10.2020 14:30
Activists have staged protests during church services in the capital Warsaw and other Polish cities on Sunday, holding placards and handing out leaflets, to express their outrage at an abortion ruling by the country's top court.
Audio
  • Polish protests over abortion ruling take aim at churches
Protesters gathered in front of the Church of the Holy Cross, close to Warsaws Old Town, on Sunday, October 25.
Protesters gathered in front of the Church of the Holy Cross, close to Warsaw's Old Town, on Sunday, October 25.Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

Some acti­vi­sts have spray-pain­ted slo­gans and hang pla­cards on exte­rior walls of a few chur­ches’ buil­dings in the Polish capi­tal, the Polish News Agency PAP has repor­ted.

Those who gathe­red in front of War­saw’s chur­ches, were hol­ding ban­ners with slo­gans such as "My body, my cho­ice," "This is a war. Sadi­sts! We’re coming for you" and "Women’s hell is in Poland."

Mean­while, in Poznań, western Poland, a group of pro­te­sters ente­red the Basi­lica of St. Peter and St. Paul to stage a pro­test in front of the altar, inter­rup­ting a Sun­day service.


Representatives of the Women's Strike organization during a protest against the tightening of abortion laws in Poland at a cathedral in the western city of Poznań, October 25. Photo: PAP / Jakub Kaczmarczyk Representatives of the Women's Strike organization during a protest against the tightening of abortion laws in Poland at a cathedral in the western city of Poznań, October 25. Photo: PAP / Jakub Kaczmarczyk

The series of pro­tests was held under the name „Word for Sun­day,” a reference to a popu­lar weekly TV show devo­ted to Bible readings, aired by public bro­ad­ca­ster TVP 2 every Satur­day after­noon.

Accor­ding to Polish law, such actions may be sub­ject to pro­se­cu­tion for offen­ding reli­gious feelings.

Sun­day marks the fourth stra­ight day of pro­tests aga­inst a ruling from Poland’s Con­sti­tu­tio­nal Tri­bu­nal on Thurs­day which heral­ded a tigh­te­ning of the coun­try’s abor­tion laws, alre­ady among the toughest in the Euro­pean Union.

Fol­lo­wing the news, Amne­sty Inter­na­tio­nal issued a sta­te­ment say­ing that the ruling vio­la­tes human rights.

"This jud­ge­ment is the result of a coor­di­na­ted sys­te­ma­tic wave of attacks on wome­n’s human rights by Polish law­ma­kers, and repre­sents their latest attempt to ban abor­tion in Poland,” the sta­te­ment reads.

After the new court ruling comes into effect, abor­tions will only be allo­wed in Poland if a pre­gnancy is the result of a crime such as incest or rape, or thre­atens the life or health of a woman.

As almost all legal pre­gnancy ter­mi­na­tions in Poland are per­for­med on the gro­unds of foetal defects, acti­vi­sts say that the ruling will effec­ti­vely ban abor­tions in the coun­try.

Poland is known for being pre­do­mi­nan­tly Catho­lic, with senior church offi­cials having repe­ate­dly pres­su­red the con­se­rva­tive ruling Law and Justice party to intro­duce a com­plete ban on abor­tion.

(ał)

Source: PAP

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