Polish women protest against abortion ban
Thousands of black-clad women protested across Poland on Monday against a proposed near-total abortion ban in the devoutly Catholic country, where the law is already among the most restrictive in Europe.
Pro-choice activists used social media to launch the country-wide ‘Women strike’ protest, urging women to stay away from work and school to attend street protests.
Around 2,000 people rallied outside the Warsaw headquarters of the governing rightwing Law and Justice (PiS) party, forming a “wall of fury” human chain.
PiS lawmakers in late September pushed ahead with a controversial bill that would allow terminations only if the mother’s life is at risk and increase the maximum jail term for practitioners from two years to five.
The citizen’s initiative tabled in parliament by the Stop Abortion coalition would also make women who have terminations liable to prison terms, though judges could waive punishment in their case.
Poland’s influential Catholic Church gave the initiative its seal of approval earlier this year, though its bishops have since opposed jailing women.