Poland’s parliament this week is expected to discuss pro-life legislation which is “aimed at banning eugenic abortions of disabled unborn children.” Abortion in Poland is only permissible in limited circumstances, including if the unborn child is suspected of possessing an anomaly.
Speaking to SPUC, Dr. Tymoteusz Zych, Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, said: “The ’Stop Abortion’ bill, which is currently debated, is aimed at banning ’eugenic abortions‘ of disabled unborn children, which account for more than 97% of abortions performed in Poland. The legislative proposal was initiated by a group of citizens, which managed to gather more than 800,000 signatures.”
Currently, there is strong support for pro-life measures in Poland, according to recent polling results.
A CBOS poll found that 75% of Polish people think abortion is “always wrong and can never be justified.” Meanwhile, only 7% thought there was “nothing wrong with it and could always be justified.”
In recent times, Poland has been one of the few countries in Europe to oppose pro-abortion regimes. Abortion was imposed on Poland by the Communist regime following World War 2. When this regime collapsed in the 1980s, pro-life laws which protected human life were soon introduced into the country.
Pro-abortion backlash is anticipated
Pro-life campaigners are aware of the likely backlash from pro-abortion advocates who are working against the legislation. On April 14th, pro-abortion advocates disregarded social distancing measures designed to preserve human life amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to hold a pro-abortion rally.
Dr Zych said: “From a strictly legal perspective, the case is obvious–the Polish constitutional court made it clear in 1997 that under Polish basic law all unborn children shall enjoy legal protection from the moment of conception. Moreover, disability discrimination is also prohibited by both Polish and international law – and one cannot think of discrimination going further than stripping a person of any legal protection of one’s life.
“The political context is less clear – the bill at stake was already subject of parliamentary proceedings during the previous parliamentary term. Despite initial support by the ruling majority, it was frozen due to a strong backlash from the left and international pressure. The term came to an end and now, for formal reasons, the bill is debated once again by the newly elected parliament. Based on experience from the past, we can regretfully expect a similar course of events this time – after first reading vote, the bill will most likely be frozen again.”
“Still, the pro-life popular movement is growing, and we expect to pressure the parliamentarians more strongly this time.”