Despite widespread media coverage condemning Poland’s ban on eugenic abortions, polling has found that a “silent majority” of Polish citizens actually support the law.
The AFP reports that most Poles support the pro-life laws in the country, which are some of the strictest in Europe. The 13-member Constitutional Court declared earlier this year that aborting a preborn child because of a poor prenatal diagnosis is unconstitutional. The government has since decided to delay the ruling, refusing to publish it by November 2 through the Government Legislation Centre, meaning abortion due to a prenatal disability diagnosis remains legal for the time being. If the new law does take effect, abortion will be permitted only in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is at risk (see more here about why deliberately killing a preborn child to save the mother’s life is never actually medically necessary).
Though pro-abortion protests have been widely-covered by the media and a resolution from the European Parliament condemned the ruling, citizens of Poland themselves are not among the people clamoring for eugenic abortions to continue. A survey from Kantar pollsters found that only 22% of Poles favor abortion available on demand, while 62% believe it should be legal only with restrictions.
“We’re seeing a surprising mobilisation of the younger generation in particular in these protests. And in that group, support for a more liberal law is growing — but that’s not the majority,” Adam Szostkiewicz, a political commentator, told the AFP. “The majority had been silent for years, holding the belief that if the Church says so and politicians don’t question it, then evidently that’s just how it must be.”
Katarzyna Zielinska, a sociologist, agreed. “There was no sexual revolution in Poland,” she said. “On the contrary, we had a religious renewal, because the mobilisation against the communist regime was associated with religion.” Inga Koralewska, a social researcher, meanwhile said the communist regime made abortion laws more liberal, specifically as a means to attack Polish culture, to serve as “a flick on the nose at the Church, the bedrock of Polish identity.”
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