Anti-abortion laws in Poland are among the toughest in Europe.
A woman can only get an abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation in the cases of rape, incest, severe fetal deformities or when there’s a threat to the pregnant woman's health.
As if the conditions weren’t severe enough, a new legislative proposal by the conservative government will impose a nearly total ban on abortion – even in cases of rape or potential risk to the woman’s life.
However, millions of Polish women are against it.
On Oct. 3, thousands of women, wearing black went on a strike. They refused to show up to work and do household chores and took to the streets to demand their reproductive rights.
"We don't want this barbarous law," said Kinga Jurga, a protester in Warsaw. "It takes away the right of a woman to choose."
“In the light of the ECHR rulings it is evident that current practices in Poland need reforming and any further restrictions would further violate a wide range of international and regional human rights obligations,” Amnesty International noted in September. “Such restrictions would also constitute a retrogressive measure in contravention to international law.”
Women found to have had abortions would be punished with a 5-year prison term.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kacper Pempel