Poland imposes almost total ban on abortion

Brussels – The implementation of Poland’s right-wing government has been delayed A court ruling that would impose a total ban on abortion After Biggest protest in two weeks The country has experienced since the fall of communism of 1989.

The country had one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws – one of three justifications for legal abortion and the only type executed in the country – before the abolition of conception for fetal abnormalities by the Constitutional Tribunal on October 22 – Violated.

On Tuesday, the government delayed the publication of the court’s decision indefinitely, which, in clear response to the protests, prevents it from going into legal force. To make changes under normal procedures, the government would have to publish the ruling in a government magazine by 2 November.

The government could publish the decision at any time, as it has done with other controversial decisions, although legal experts say it would be a violation of the constitution.

“A discussion is continuing,” said Micheal Dvorsky, head of the Prime Minister’s Office. “In this situation, which is difficult and causes a lot of emotion, it is good to give yourself a little time to communicate and work for a new situation.”

Ewa Letowska, a professor of law at the Polish Academy of Sciences and a constitutional tribunal, a former judge in the country’s highest court, said the government’s delay was illegal.

“Publication of tribunal decisions is mandatory,” she said. “Although the ruling had objections, some of them are valid, delay in publication is unconstitutional.”

Prior to the decision of the Constitutional Tribunal, Poland allowed termination of conception in three instances: in cases of abnormalities of the fetus, a threat to a woman’s health and incest or rape.

In practice, most legal abortions – 1,074 out of 1,100 performed in the country last year, resulted in fetal abnormalities. Yet those abortions represent only a small fraction of those received by Polish women who seek termination abroad or undergo risky illegal procedures.

The court’s October 22 verdict created a furore in Poland’s streets. Ignoring skyrocketing Kovid-19 restrictions amid new coronovirus cases Hundreds of thousands left, Reading banners that “I wish I could finish my government” and “This is war.”

Demonstrations in the predominantly Roman Catholic country reflected a widespread anger over other grievances, including the abolition of democracy and dealing with the epidemic.

Critics accuse the government of bypassing Parliament to impose an effective ban on abortion. He says the tribunal is under the thumb of the governing party, which appoints 14 of its 15 judges.

There has also been a government led by the Law and Justice Party. Accused of taking control of judiciary by experts and EU. The president of the court, Julia Przelebska, is a long-time friend of the party’s president and Poland’s most important politician, Jaroslav Kaczynski.

Some protesters disrupted church services and confronted priests, who challenged the Catholic Church, which holds a special place in Poland’s society after supporting the struggle against communism. The church is a close ally of the governing party.

Last week Mr Kaczynski commented to his conservative supporters on “protecting Poland, protecting patriotism” and “protecting Polish churches”, commenting that he might be encouraged to clash with protesters.

“This is the only way we can win this war,” he said.

Although the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, far-right activists, predominantly young men dressed in black and with pepper spray and flares, occasionally confronted the protesters violently.

In response to the social unrest, President Andrzej Duda presented “a proposal for changes” to Parliament that would slightly reduce the restrictions that the court supported by allowing abortion of fetuses with “fatal” abnormalities. It would ban abortion in case of other conditions like Down syndrome.

There is little institutional support in Poland for families with children with disabilities, with parents having to leave for themselves after the child is born.

A session of Parliament which was to consider the President’s proposal on Wednesday has been adjourned until mid-November, with voting showing support in favor of both the Governing Party and Mr Duda since the protests began. A Member of the Governing Party said that the session was postponed due to the epidemic.

Opposition MLA Barbara Nowaka said the government had postponed the parliament session due to public uproar.

“They were scared of the protest,” she wrote on Twitter.

Analysts say MPs are less likely to get enough support in the president’s proposal, as it does not meet the demands of both sides of the debate.

Anatol Magdierz Contributed to reporting from Warsaw.

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