Why a New Abortion Ban in Poland is Causing a Furor

PRI's The World
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Today in Poland where for five straight days. Now, streets across the country have been filled with protesters as we mark the swearing in of new Supreme Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and wonder how the court will now see Roe v Wade Poland is an interesting case protesters. There are angry precisely because of a high court ruling on. Abortion last week, Poland's constitutional tribunal outlawed the practice in all but the most exceptional of circumstances as the world's Europe correspondent Orla Barry reports. The latest legal decision is now being widely condemned by women's rights, groups, Justin of it. The refs as a founding member of the abortion dream, team they're a well-known group of activists who says out in two thousand sixteen to de stigmatize abortion in Poland the dress had an abortion in. Two thousand six and even though she worked with an abortion support group called almost no one about your own experience for more than twelve years up to two thousand, eighteen I was talking about this as anonymous person. I was not showing my face I was afraid about my community for threats says, she worried what our neighbors would thank her. There's nothing unusual about women keeping their abortion secret in Poland more than one thousand. Legal abortions for carried out in the country last year but women's groups reckon that the number of illegal abortions or those performed abroad is closer to two hundred thousand. No one knows the exact figure the court ruling last Thursday. Permits Abortion only in cases of rape incest and the mother's life is at risk activists say that just adds to the stigma and it helps explain why women have been out protesting every day since. In more. So last night protesters poured red paint across the city's main bridge holding up signs that read you have blood on your hands, and this is war in the western city of Poznan demonstrators interrupted Sunday church services. Video posted online. A couple of dozen protesters are seen approaching the altar chanting we've had enough, but the refs ca says young people using such fury at the church is something new for Poland. There are very young women who are protesting chorus creaming on the on the priests in small towns. And like really today jurors, it is something which hasn't been seen on the streets before this is something new. What we see ninety percent of Poles identifies Catholic, and since coming to power in two thousand fifteen, the ruling law and Justice Party has promoted what it calls traditional Catholic values but recent surveys show the majority of Poles did not support more restrictive abortion laws. Activists say the new measures are a threat to women's rights in Poland Hillary Margolis is a senior. Researcher. With human rights, Watch under the Lawn Justice Party, we've seen repeated attempts to completely ban abortion also to obstruct sexuality education schools to really smear and undermine women's rights, groups and activists including those who work on violence against women and Margolis says, it's not just women's rights conservative politicians have in their sides the way they've used the concept of the so called traditional family to undermine women's rights but also lgbt rapes is very worry but in some ways has seen. Some success you they've managed to get people afraid and that is I think part of how they have kept power. But protesters say they will not be deterred several university faculties canceling classes tomorrow and some companies have announced a day off. So workers can protest Anthony in eleven. Scott is a sexual and reproductive health and rights activists based on more. So she says is not just young women who are taking to the streets taxi drivers joined yesterday form as join and. Some smaller towns and of the groups that has already joined the protest were actually the police officers that goes ing one of the provinces they just took their helmets off and they entered the crowd in order to participate. But not all police officers support the demonstrators that have been street clashes in Warsaw and Levin of SCO worries things might get more violent yesterday. The prime minister gave permission for the Military Police to join the police in the streets and they only do. You really believe that there is a huge risk of riots and the public turning islands. The Polish government has been accused of appointing judges loyal to the ruling party activists are hopeful that an international body like the European. Court of Human Rights could challenge the recent decision on abortion on that basis. In the meantime campaigners say they're worried about their future in Poland I asked just thrift Ska from the abortion dream, team if she's concerned about being targeted by authorities of cars every. Day that we are expecting them. So if there will be some kind of idea to close us, we will move abroad and we'll be still working will not stop for the rest says no matter what the government does women will continue to have abortions in Poland, and groups like hers will keep fighting for the right to do. So for the world I'm Morna Barry.

Coming up next