Poland demonstrations escalate to parliament sessions

Women carry out demonstrations in parliament after Poland court issues a near-total ban on abortion.

Poland is facing strikes as women oppose the court’s ruling to ban abortions. Last week on Thursday, October 22, the country’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortion due to fetal defects is unconstitutional.

It states that the procedure can now be carried out only under special circumstances. It includes if the mother’s life is in danger or cases of assault. The matter led to a wide range of protests across the nation.

The demonstrations escalated to the parliament as well. On Tuesday, October 27, during the sessions, the opposition parties MPs carried signs saying “This is war” and “Shame.”

Boycott against the de facto ruling

Over the weekend, the country witnessed major protests in cities like Warsaw, Lodz, Poznan, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Krakow, and more. On Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered around the presidential place. They carried coat hangers and red lightning bolt to showcase their disagreements with the ruling.

Around 30 people received citations from police for carrying out protests in front of the place. These were still carried out despite the ban on gatherings of more than five people.

Additionally, a national strike was planned to take place on Wednesday. This encouraged people to boycott their work, and also road blockades are carried at the beginning of the week.

Following the protests, the Deputy Prime Minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, says the protests attempt to destroy Poland. He is widely known as a real powerbroker or the de facto decision-maker of Poland.

He also asked the people to defend the nation and the catholic church as well. As per the Polish Ministry of Health data, around 98% of the legal terminations carried out in the year 2019 were due to fetal defects.

Red lightning bolt and black T-shirts

Gazeta Wyborcza conducted an opinion poll; a newspaper agency suggested that around 59% of the population disagreed with the ruling. The PM compared the red lightning bolt used in the protests as a symbol for Nazi imagery.

He also requested the demonstrations and protests to end, saying that people ignored the massive risk of COVID-19 infections. Similar protests and demonstrations took place in 2016, in which women marched on the streets wearing black t-shirts as a sign of mourning their lost rights.

There are nearly 1,000 terminations every year that are carried out legally. Women groups argue that about 80,000 to 120,000 terminations are either done illegally or carried out abroad.

Supporting the ruling, the minister said that freedom of choice is truly a fundamental right. But to attain that right, one needs to be alive, indicating that dead people cannot exercise the matter.

Image courtesy of llucky78/Shutterstock

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