Polish woman retaliates with fertility treatment

Polish women haven’t been this angry in a long time.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Warsaw on Monday, outraged by remarks by Poland’s most powerful politician, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who have been accused of maintaining excessive drinking and a declining birth rate. .

It was a repeat of the scene two years ago when hundreds of thousands of women marched against a near-total ban on legal abortion, sparking Poland’s largest public protest in decades. rice field.

Photo: Bloomberg

What is different this time is that the ruling party is facing its biggest challenge to maintain a two-term regime ahead of the general election next October.

Monday’s rally “is important to remind women that there is an election in a year,” said its organizer Marta Lempart.

Protesters gathered outside Kaczynski’s house in Warsaw as police used batons and tear gas to disperse a crowd led by women in 2020. If the venue is symbolic, the date is for Polish women to vote It comes exactly 104 years after the rights were secured.

When Kaczynski came to power in 2015, the Law and Justice Party, led by Kaczynski, won some women with lavish maternity bonuses.

But when the country restricted abortion rights and the government cracked down on protests, it quickly alienated many others. It has threatened to withdraw from international agreements aimed at tackling violence.

Polish women are now the government’s biggest critics and most vocal opponents.

As the election approaches, a government with strong ties to the Catholic Church may be unable to form a majority if its approval ratings dwindle amid a growing cost of living crisis, despite polls saying. You seem to be digging.

Sensing the opening, an opposition civic platform led by former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has already pledged to introduce legislation to allow legal abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.

In a survey conducted by Ipsos on the news website on November 7-9, 70% of respondents supported the idea.

Michal Fedorovich, who campaigned for the opposition candidate’s presidential campaign in 2015 and now runs Internet Social Media Research (IBIMS), said: , was the women’s vote of the past.”

Since the Roe v. Wade case was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion has been back in the spotlight in Europe, deepening the divide between conservatives and liberals.

Italian women fear that Italy’s right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni may break his promise not to curtail their rights.

On Thursday, the French National Assembly voted to include the right to abortion in the constitution. This is the first step towards making that happen. French President Emmanuel Macron also wants access to legal abortion included in the EU Charter.

Poland’s abortion law was amended by a Supreme Court ruling, even though only 1 in 10 women supported the move. Increased restrictions ensure that a pregnancy can only be terminated in cases of rape or incest, or where the woman’s life is endangered by irreversible or fatal damage to the fetus, among other reasons. means.

The number of births in the first nine months of this year fell by 17,000 compared to last year, according to the Polish Statistical Office.

Non-governmental groups attribute it to women’s current fear of pregnancy.

Calls for easing abortion restrictions intensified after 30-year-old Izabela Sajbor, a beautician in a small town in the south of the country, died of septic shock after doctors refused to give her an abortion because of a ban on abortion. I was.

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