Life in Poland

What’s all the hubbub? Abortion Law in Poland

Last year in Poland, there were 1812 legal abortions performed in a country with a population just under 40 million. A woman may seek abortion in cases of rape, serious threat to the life/health of the mother, or severe birth defect. That’s how it is supposed to work under the so-called compromise between the church and the state, and apparently it did work in 1812 cases last year.

I am personally aware of a case where it didn’t work – of the woman who was denied an abortion not because it was illegal, but because she couldn’t find a hospital or doctor to perform it. But that is neither here nor there.

I think the current law is pretty restrictive. I’ve seen Pro-Life protesters on the street in Poland and always wondered what they were protesting exactly. It’s practically illegal, right? What more could they want? A total ban on abortion?

Yes. A total ban on abortion.

The proposal, still in project form, for a total ban on abortion has been sent to the Polish parliament.

I’m not Pro-Abortion. I’m Anti-Unwanted Pregnancy. I support sexual health education and access to birth control in order to reduce unwanted pregnancies. That doesn’t do anything for the cases outlined above, but it’s my position nonetheless. I remember those Sex Ed. classes in school and the realization that the 15-year-old boy next to me didn’t know the urethra from the vagina, never mind the clitoris and never mind birth control. That wasn’t his problem.

So on Sunday I decided to join the protest against this proposal. I feel it’s my civic duty. We protested. We shouted. We clapped. We took our obligatory protest selfie. We crossed our fingers for the future of women in Poland.

On Sunday, priests in Poland read out the church’s position on the matter during mass. Across Poland, some parishioners walked out of church in protest. For the most part, this was a silent protest without incident. In one church, there was a loud exchange and hands were laid on one of the protesters.

And that’s it so far. Ms. Beata Szyd艂o, the Polish Prime Minister, said on Monday that it wasn’t even a topic of discussion in Poland although a few days before she declared that she supports a total abortion ban. It’s not even a bill yet, that’s true. A bill is a law before it is signed, before it becomes a law. But when should we protest? After it’s a done deal?

As I was perusing my Facebook wall Monday morning, you know, as you do, I noticed a post about the protests in English. It was pretty standard, pretty much what I’ve written above. It was the comment section below the article that caught my eye – comments showing that the commenters had not even read the article and did not understand the current law or the proposed changes. There was even one saying that the protests hadn’t actually taken place, that it was all a media manipulation. And that’s where I made a mistake. I commented. For the last two days, I have been suffering through what can only be described as “hate”. I’ve been bombarded with private messages鈥nd I’ve learned a lot about myself. First of all, I am a whore, bitch, baby-killing murderer. I don’t actually live in Poland. I do live in Poland, and I have a secret agenda to liberate Polish women (that one’s inadvertently humorous). I am funded by the EU to create abortion mills in Poland for the profit of Big Pharma. And the not so funny threats to my children. Not cool, not cool at all. But on the bright side, I finally figured out how to use my blocking settings.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    bitowo
    April 5, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    i suppose your children would be killed if weapon were legal. Both extreme right-wing and left-wing are wrong. It's dissapointing me. Polish law about abortion is in my opinion one of the best in the world. It allow to abort pregnancy in those cases which you wrote in the text, but didnt give permision to kill people. Every year 45 million people in the world are killed by aportion, because aportion law is too liberal.

  • Reply
    Unknown
    April 6, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Thank God Poland is going in the direction it is… a nation that liberally kills it's own utterly defenceless children has no moral conscience whatsoever. The countless millions upon millions worldwide who have never drawn breath, been cherished or loved are a frightening testament against recent and current generations.

  • Reply
    Unknown
    April 6, 2016 at 4:25 am

    I'm Polish, but I live in California, I don't even plan to go back to live in Poland, but I'm still ashamed that the bill banning abortion completely is even considered in 21st century in an European country! I stand there with you Chris, pro sex Ed, access to birth control. I can't grasp my mind around the idea of forcing women to give birth to children that will never make it (due to fatal disabilities), to carry pregnancies that might lead to life threatening conditions or not to give a rape victim a choice…

  • Reply
    Chris
    April 6, 2016 at 5:34 am

    bitowo- I'm quite liberal as you probably know by know and feel the law is too restrictive. But even so, I was surprised that some conservatives found it to be too liberal for them. I found the current law satisfactory. I think it was a good middle ground between us.

    Tracy Leszczynski- I do not feel that Poland is going in the right direction and not only in this case.

    Magda M. – Thank you for your supportive words all the way from sunny California.

    • Reply
      Unknown
      April 6, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    Joy
    April 6, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Agghhh…all these laws restricting women's rights just drive me crazy! And I'm sorry to hear all the hate msgs you received. People are stupid. I really hate to see what's been changing in Poland since we left last year. But if Dump Trump is elected, things could head this way in the U.S. too. Why do white men always think they know best about a women's vagina or reproductive organs? 馃檨

    • Reply
      Unknown
      April 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      What about the baby's rights? Oh…it's just a bundle of cells right?

  • Reply
    Pauline
    April 6, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Thank you for this post! Thank you for fighting for good of this country even some can call you foreigner 馃檪 I think we need more inteligent people who can use their brain and make their own mind, not affected by church, marketing etc. Things going on in Poland now are simply crazy… Could write more and more but you know 馃檪 I'm with you!

  • Reply
    bitowo
    April 6, 2016 at 11:22 am

    some more content about abortion(in polish)
    -situation in Poland in 2014
    https://www.facebook.com/kingajewska/photos/a.1485149891705462.1073741837.1477839192436532/1732599096960539/?type=3&theater
    -some Catholic point of view – year 1991 (in polish)
    http://reformowani.org.pl/czytelnia/sprawy-spoleczne/793-oswiadczenie-synodu-ker-w-sprawie-ustawy-o-ochronie-zycia-poczetego

    my point of view

    First link
    Kinga's photo is unsure when we talk about illegal abortion. I think that illegal abortion number is higher than in reality. It's impossible to check. Even if ~50 thousand pregnancies were aborted, most of them were done because 2 "retard" didnt use contraception or use it wrongly. Generaly no having knowledge or/and stupidity of people.

    Second link
    quotation tells enought about itself.
    "Anomalia spo艂eczna, jak膮 jest masowe przerywanie ci膮偶y, domaga si臋 uregulowania, jednak偶e wywieranie nacisk贸w na cia艂a ustawodawcze w celu wprowadzenia surowych przepis贸w prawnych i karnego 艣cigania winnych nie nale偶y do obowi膮zk贸w Ko艣cio艂a chrze艣cija艅skiego. Forsowanie rozstrzygni臋cia problemu na drodze ustawy antyaborcyjnej oznacza kl臋sk臋 Ko艣cio艂a jako si艂y moralnej. Chrystus nie przyszed艂 wszak s膮dzi膰 i kara膰, lecz ratowa膰 ludzi przed z艂em. Ko艣ci贸艂 powinien wi臋c kierowa膰 si臋 r贸wnie偶 w tej sprawie ewangeliczn膮 zasad膮 mi艂o艣ci bli藕niego."

  • Reply
    bitowo
    April 6, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I made a mistake > 2 "retards"

    People didnt learn that sexual education and responsibility for children are the best solutions to limit abortion and unwanted pregnancies. Abortion law will never stops "bloodlust" untill people take responsibility for own decisions. Teaching a morality is harder than killing, but gives better results. Law should be something like protection for people. I explain what i mean. Just imagine you know a boy who had killed parents and he wants a revenge. Law should "tell" to him "don't do it because you go to jail and its not worth to killing people". I am not a fanatically conservative person like Terlikowski or Czes艂aw Hoc.

    read what Czes艂aw Hoc said and you understand what means fanatical conservatie people.

    https://www.facebook.com/opiekamedycznaniewatykanska/photos/a.1407319999556374.1073741827.1407222272899480/1710864072535297/?type=3&theater

  • Reply
    Chris
    April 6, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks Joy and Pauline for your support. I appreciate it.

    bitowo- I didn't raise the issue of the abortions performed in situations that the law doesn't allow. It happens and we all know it, however, verifiable data is impossible to find.

    Tracy Leszczynski- I don't agree with your opinions on abortion or on the future of Poland. On the topic of atheism, you are ill-informed.

  • Reply
    ds
    April 6, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    thank you Chris. I would join the protesters if I were in Poland.

  • Reply
    Edyta
    April 7, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Law should be established between government and it's people. One country one law.
    Involvement of the church in this manner should be totally banned, it's inappropriate and straight out wrong. We all have different
    Believes and need to be respectful of that. Poland, please don't swipe everything under Roman Catholic rug.
    Hopefuly the outcome will be satisfactory to most citizens.

  • Reply
    Chris
    April 7, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Edyta, let's hope. I love how you described it – under the Roman Catholic rug.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 8, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    I knew you'd get grief from polish pro-lifers to your post. Sigh.

    It's ironic that the country that screamed so loudly in protests against primitive Muslim immigrants has laws that are more regressive and repressive than the countries where these immigrants come from!

    Poland used to be known as the nation of Solidarity, a nation that began the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

    Today it's known as the theocracy of Europe harking it back to the 15th century.

    Wstyd.

    Dorota in Colorado

  • Reply
    Chris
    April 9, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Hi Dorota. Most of my friends in America couldn't find Poland on the map and don't really care what goes on here, but this week just about everybody sent me a message asking what's going on in this country. I responded that our Trump won 馃槈 I got some terrible private messages via Facebook including death threats and conspiracy theories, some from fictitious accounts but most from their personal profiles. I can see their pictures, in some cases where they work, their phone number, their kid's first day of school. It was really shocking for me that some smiling person pictured with their grandkids at church would send me a death threat. And it's not very Christian of them either.The conversation continues here http://kielbasastories.blogspot.com/2015/09/me-hypocrite.html.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Just read "the conversation." My hat's off to you. I wouldn't have had the patience.

    Dorota in Colorado

  • Reply
    Me
    April 10, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Ca艂kiem mo偶liwe jest, 偶e afera o zdelegalizowanie i penalizacj臋 aborcji jest sztucznie wywo艂ana, 偶eby przykry膰 dzia艂anie maj膮ce na celu umo偶liwienie ko艣cio艂owi (i tylko jemu) przejmowanie, "odzyskiwanie" i sprzedawanie ziemi. Rolnikom (i nie tylko) ma si臋 utrudni膰, je艣li nie uniemo偶liwi膰, swobodne dysponowanie swoj膮 ziemi膮, a w zamian tego u艂atwi膰 zapisywanie ziemi ko艣cio艂owi, kt贸r膮 ten b臋dzie m贸g艂 艂atwo spieni臋偶y膰.

  • Reply
    Chris
    April 10, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Dorota – I did my best to stay calm.

    Me – Based on the reaction of local farmers, they seemed to be riled up. They're worried long term about the future of their land, and short term about the purchases they were planning. They're also concerned about people like me who have a small holding of farm land that is farmed, but are not technically farmers. They don't have nice things to say about the church and call it a blatant land grab. Perhaps it is a matter of look over here to distract from what's going on. It's already in effect, isn't it?

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 11, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    I think Tracy is a computer virus. An extremely malicious one.

    Shame on the haters, Chris – what Poland needs right now is a very loud voice of reason. I'm shaken by what's going on in there and it terrifies me to think I could still be living in Poland. I have no intention of ever going back, having spent too many years in a liberal country, that doesn't have a serious need to discuss abortion bans and gay marriages cause they're legal.

    Kasia in Edinburgh

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