A nationwide women’s strike is being held in Poland on Wednesday, as people continue to demonstrate against the near-total abortion ban that was imposed after a court ruling last week.
On the seventh consecutive day of protests against the legal decision, people have begun a nationwide strike across the country, walking out from their workplaces and gathering in the streets to express their anger at the ban on abortions in cases of fetal abnormalities – one of the few remaining grounds for abortion in the country.
Demonstrators in Warsaw marched from the office of Ordo Iuris, a conservative group that has been fighting for a full abortion ban, to the country’s parliament, where they were confronted with police in riot gear. Other major cities, such as Krakow, Lodz, Szczecin and Wroclaw, saw crowds fill the streets to make their voices heard.
These demonstrations come after protesters disrupted church services on Sunday, confronting religious figures and graffitiing places of worship, and centrist and left-wing MPs held up posters with pro-choice slogans in parliament on Tuesday.
Demonstrators rallied in front of the #Polish Parliament on Tuesday to protest against the new abortion regulations in the country.Activists holding banners and chanting slogans gathered outside the building while opposition MPs were protesting inside.#Poland#Warsawpic.twitter.com/N9pNqBUOwo
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) October 28, 2020
On Wednesday, the Interior Ministry pledged to take tougher measures if people continue to gather to oppose the court ruling, without specifying what action would be taken: “In light of plans being announced by organizers for further acts of aggression and profanation, the police will take decisive action”.
Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak, a left-wing member of Poland’s parliament, defended the demonstrations by stating that they are showing solidarity with people who simply want “a real debate about the full reproductive rights for women.”
Meanwhile, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling party, issued a scathing attack on the protests by accusing them of “destroying Poland” and “exposing a lot of people to death” by amassing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The recent court ruling means that abortion in Poland is now only legal in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health, making the majority-Catholic nation one of the strictest countries in Europe when it comes to abortion access.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!