Three women on their fight for abortion rights in Poland – podcast
Academic Agnieszka Graff, lawyer Karolina Więckiewicz and gynaecologist Anna Parzyńska discuss their fight for abortion rights. An attempt by authorities to impose a near-total ban on terminations has sparked mass demonstrations across the country
On 22 October, Poland’s constitutional court ruled to ban abortions in cases of congenital foetal defects, even if the foetus has no chance of survival. The decision by the court’s 15 pro-ruling party judges, many of them appointed unlawfully, would allow terminations only in instances of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is at risk – a tiny fraction of cases. Women’s groups estimate that an additional 200,000 Polish women have abortions either illegally or abroad each year – Poland has some of Europe’s strictest abortion laws.
The ruling sparked an immediate reaction. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, mainly women and young people, took to the streets in the largest protest movement in the three decades since the fall of communism. The writer and activist Agnieszka Graff tells Anushka Asthana about the protests, and the influence the Catholic church has had on Poland’s increasingly restrictive abortion laws.Continue reading...