Poland delays abortion ban following nationwide mass protests 11 months ago

Poland delays abortion ban following nationwide mass protests

“There is a discussion going on..."

Poland has delayed its proposed abortion ban following nationwide mass protests.

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The near-total abortion ban, which would make the procedure illegal unless in cases of rape, incest, and where the mother's life is at risk, was delayed by officials this week.

The new law was set to come in following a controversial court ruling last month, but now the country's rightwing government has delayed the move after nationwide protest in Warsaw, Krakow, and other major cities.

According to The Guardian, these demonstrations are the biggest Poland has seen since the fall of Communism.

Michał Dworczyk, the head of the Polish prime minister’s office, said today that the ruling is being considered by the government and opposition parties.

“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," he said.

The new law would make abortion entirely illegal across the country, except in cases of rape, incest, or where the mother's life is in danger.

Largely influenced by the country's strong Catholic presence, the ruling was initially agreed upon on October 22. Poland's abortion laws had already been further tightened previous to this, with the country seeing several changes to the law surrounding terminations over the past few decades.

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Previously, the vast majority of abortions in Poland were carried due to foetal abnormalities. This new ruling would have made it illegal to procure an abortion for this reason.

Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called for talks with protesters and opposition MPs regarding the ruling.