Naked demonstrators protest Polish abortion law

Polish abortion law

Two female pro-abortion activists stripped naked in front of photographers to protest against a new Polish abortion law.

Ania Bielawska and Lukasz Stanek drew profanities on their naked bodies. They then paraded in front of photographers at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Their demonstration was short-lived as police quickly wrapped them in blankets and led them away.

The Constitutional Tribunal last month banned terminations due to foetal defects, ending one of the few legal grounds left for abortion.

This type of abortion accounts for almost all of the small number of abortions performed legally in Poland.

Thousands have taken to Polish streets almost every day since. These have been the largest protests since the fall of communism.

While primarily demanding abortion rights, the protests have also expressed deep-seated anger at Poland’s nationalist rulers.

The demonstrations also highlight the divisions between liberals and religious conservatives in the staunchly Catholic country.

The Law and Justice (PiS) party has ruled Poland since 2015. The party has been accused of eroding democratic norms during its time in power.

Protesters have ignored a ban on gatherings of more than five people, intended to slow the spread of coronavirus, and have come out in force.

More than 100,000 people gathered in the streets of Warsaw on Friday evening for the largest gathering so far. They shouted pro-choice and anti-PiS slogans.

But, in the last few days, Poland’s right wing government has announced a delay in implementing the controversial court ruling. It is thought the growing public discontent has forced this delay.

“There is a discussion going on, and it would be good to take some time for dialogue and for finding a new position in this situation, which is difficult and stirs high emotions,” Michał Dworczyk, the head of the prime minister’s office, told Polish media on Tuesday.

The prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has called for talks with protesters and opposition MPs about the Polish abortion law. The PiS-aligned president, Andrzej Duda, suggested a new proposal that would allow abortion in cases of life-threatening birth defects but not for conditions such as Down’s syndrome.



The Guardian


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