By Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Debate has begun in Poland over whether or not to ensure complete protection for unborn children from the violence of abortion as an overwhelming majority of lawmakers supported a citizen’s initiative to ban abortion with a sole exception to save the mother’s life.
Members of the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament, the Sejm, voted yesterday on two competing citizens’ initiatives on abortion with the pro-life measure receiving the support necessary to proceed to a legislative committee.
The citizens’ initiative to ban abortion, written by the Stop Abortion coalition and signed by 450,000 citizens, was supported by 267 members of the Sejm who wished to see the measure proceed to the next legislative level while 154 were opposed and 11 abstained.
A competing citizens’ initiative, written by the Save Women committee, had far less support with only 215,000 signatures and would open the door to abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It was opposed by 230 lawmakers, supported by 173 who wished to see it proceed to the next level while 15 members abstained from voting.
The vote and support for protecting life is viewed as a welcome step toward maintaining Polish sovereignty on abortion and other issues as the country faces continued pressure from pro-abortion elites at the European Union and the United Nations following the change in political power resulting from last year’s election in which the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party won control of both the government and parliament.
Historically, Poland rejected abortion on demand in 1993 and enacted The Family Planning, Human Embryo Protection and Conditions of Permissibility of Abortion Act following the fall of communism and the establishment of democracy. The Abortion Act recognized the need to protect the unborn child and stated:
“Every human being shall have a natural right to life as from the time of his conception
“The life and health of the child shall be placed under the protection of the law, as from the time of its conception.”
The Stop Abortion committee is acutely aware of the outside push for use of abortion pills by women for self-induced abortion, including those delivered by the abortion drone operated by Women on Waves, and of the unprecedented promotion of abortion by international and regional entities which discount and disrespect Poland’s existing national laws on abortion and Polish values that respect the right to life from the time of conception.
The initiative will next proceed through the legislative process for two additional readings which may include amendments and changes by members of the legislative committee.