Poland’s Abortion Ban

In Poland, a ban to abortion threatens to restricts women’s choices in reproductive freedom

People+hold+banners+and+shout+slogans+as+they+protest+for+the+second+day+against+the+Constitutional+Court+ruling+on+tightening+the+abortion+law+next+to+the+Law+and+Justice+chairman+house%2C+Jaroslaw+Kaczynski+on+October+23%2C+2020+in+Warsaw%2C+Poland.+Yesterday%2C+the+countrys+Constitutional+Tribunal+ruled+in+favour+of+a+ban+on+abortions+in+cases+of+fetal+defects%2C+tightening+Polands+restrictive+abortion+laws+even+further.+The+decision+means+that+abortions+will+only+be+permitted+in+cases+of+rape%2C+incest+or+when+the+mothers+health+is+at+risk.+

(Omar Marques/Getty Images/TNS)

People hold banners and shout slogans as they protest for the second day against the Constitutional Court ruling on tightening the abortion law next to the Law and Justice chairman house, Jaroslaw Kaczynski on October 23, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. Yesterday, the country’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled in favour of a ban on abortions in cases of fetal defects, tightening Poland’s restrictive abortion laws even further. The decision means that abortions will only be permitted in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s health is at risk.

In last October, Poland had issued a ban on aborting babies that had fetal defects— the majority of abortions which in Poland. Even prior to the ban, Poland had very strict restrictions on abortions involving fetal defects. Poland roughly has 2,000 legal abortions every year, while there are as many as 200,000 women who get abortions illegally at home or aboard in some other country.
Now, however, abortions can only occur in cases of rape, incest, or when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life. Many people disagree with this limitation since either way abortions will still happen. Putting a ban on abortions does not stop them from happening. Abortions will still happen, just illegally and in an unsafe manner.

Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Many people such as women, male allies, and teenagers have started protests by raising LGBTQ+ flags, carrying red flares, and having posters that read “free choice, not terror.” Every few days, they lead protests on the streets of cities. Zoe Ślusarczyk (15), spoke out about how even if going to school may be a pain, they always feel motivated to go to these rallies. People attending these rallies believe that women deserve control over their own bodies, and demand freedom over their reproductive systems. As people take the streets and start to protest, there have been cases of people being pepper sprayed, tear gassed, and even beaten. Even with all the dangers, people still continue to protest for women’s rights and for women to have a say over their own bodies.

It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent”

— Madeleine Albright

After talking to some students at CHS, many have agreed that the idea of putting an abortion ban on women was not a good idea. They brought up valid points like how “ [women] deserve a right to control their own lives”, and how children are a lifelong commitment. Some people might not be ready for children. It doesn’t just affect the mother, it affects the children since they could end up growing up in the system which could really hurt them.
Overall, looking at some responses Clayton High School students have to the abortion ban, they don’t seem to like the idea. Just like in Poland currently, many people are furious that the government is trying to control women.