Anger in Poland as court imposes near-total abortion ban
Women in Poland walked off the job and hit the streets nationwide on Wednesday, the seventh straight day of mass protests over a court ruling to impose a near-total abortion ban in the country.
Scuffles also erupted in parliament on Tuesday with opposition MPs carrying signs saying “This is war” and “Shame”.
In an unprecedented move in deeply Catholic Poland, at the weekend, 20 young men and women held a sit-down protest in front of the altar of a church in Poznan, chanting and holding up banners. The disruption was so massive that the priest broke off the Mass.
Protesters held banners that read “You have blood on your hands,” “Women’s hell” and “Let us pray for the right to abortion”
Protests also took place in several cities including Gdansk, Lodz, Warsaw, and Wroclaw among others, according to local media reports.
“Get your hands off my daughter,” read a placard carried by an older male protester in Lodz, while young women with placards reading “Nothing can stop an angry woman!” chanted “Enough is enough”.
Meanwhile, church buildings in Warsaw were spray-painted with slogans such as “Abortion is okay” and “Abortion without borders.”
However, the powerful ruling party leader said the decision could not be reversed.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is also the deputy prime minister and widely considered to be the country’s real powerbroker, said the protests were an attempt to “destroy” Poland. He urged people to “defend” the nation as well as the Catholic Church.
The decision means terminations are only valid in cases of rape or incest, or to protect the mother’s life. The ruling cannot be appealed against but only comes into force after it is published in the journal of laws, AFP news agency reports. It is not clear when that will happen.