Poland Enforces Ban on Pregnancy Terminations Due to Fetal Abnormalities, Making Virtually All Abortions Illegal

Poland has decided to enforce a ban on pregnancy terminations due to fetal abnormalities, thereby rendering nearly all abortions illegal.

The nation’s Constitutional Tribunal decided on this ban in October, but its implementation had been delayed until Wednesday evening, when the government published the tribunal’s ruling in their “Journal of Laws of the Republic of Poland.”

The only abortions that remain legal in Poland now are in cases of rape or incest or if the mother’s life is threatened. But the New York Times states that 1,074 of 1,100 abortions were performed last year because of fetal abnormalities, hence the ruling representing a near-total ban.

Although Poland’s ruling party and many Polish people are quite socially conservative, plenty of other Polish leaders and citizens—specifically many women and young people—are not, as indicated by recurring protests and outrage against the government’s abortion restrictions.

Thousands gathered into the streets yet again Wednesday night, chanting slogans such as “I think, I feel, I decide” and “Freedom of choice instead of terror!”, according to the Times.

Polish president Andrzej Duda belongs to the Law and Justice party, a Polish nationalist party that stands for social conservatism, a strong Catholic Church, and economic populism. Poland has been a member of the European Union since 2004, but the Law and Justice party retains a healthy Eurosceptic attitude.

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