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Poland: Nationwide protests against further restrictions to abortion

With the victory of the Black Protest still fresh in their minds, women across Poland will once again take to the streets, standing together against proposals which would strip them of their rights and endanger their health

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
MEDIA ADVISORY

17 January 2018

Poland: Nationwide protests against further restrictions to abortion

• Spokespeople available on the ground

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to gather in more than 40 cities across Poland today, following last week’s decision by Parliament to consider a bill to restrict access to abortion.

The demonstrations come more than a year after the large-scale mobilization dubbed the Black Protest forced the government into an historic U-turn on a proposed abortion ban.

“With the victory of the Black Protest still fresh in their minds, women across Poland will once again take to the streets, standing together against proposals which would strip them of their rights and endanger their health,” said Monica Costa Riba, Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Campaigner for Europe.

“Poland already has one of the most repressive abortion laws in Europe and further restrictions would be a dangerous backward step. Decisions about women’s bodies and health should be made by women themselves and not by politicians.”

For more information or to arrange an interview on the ground contact:

LONDON: on press@amnesty.org or stefan.simanowitz@amnesty.org or 0044 (0) 20 7413 5566 or 0044 7904 398127

BRUSSELS: Alison Abrahams on alison.abrahams@amnesty.org +32 2 548 27 73 or +32 483 680 812

WARSAW: (+48) 691 357 935  or +48 605 222 705 natalia.wegrzyn@amnesty.org.pl

TWITTER @DNadazdin; @kulikowskaa; @GrzZukowski; @annamblus, @mcostariba, @fotis_filippou

INSTAGRAM @draginja_nadazdin; @grz_zuk; @Vareriia

Background

On 11 January the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament voted to refer a new legislative amendment that would restrict access to abortion to a committee for further consideration. It proposes the scrapping of the three grounds for abortion permitted in Polish law, namely in cases of severe or fatal foetal impairments.

Official statistics show that it is in such cases that the majority of abortions in Poland are carried out. Further restricting the law would force women to carry non-viable pregnancies to term, endanger their physical and mental health and force them to give birth to children often with no chances of survival.