A proposed bill banning nearly all abortions is set to be debated by Poland’s Parliament this week. Abortion is already prohibited in Poland, except in the cases of rape or incest, life or health of the mother, and severe fetal deformities. However, Life News reports that under the nation’s current law, babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities have been legally aborted. The proposed legislation would prohibit all abortions, except when the mother’s life is at risk.
New Europe reports:
Mariusz Dzierżawski, the head of Poland’s Stop Abortion committee, said 58% of Poles backed the proposed new law, adding that it was necessary because “about 1,000 unborn children are legally killed in Poland each year”.
He said: “Being suspected of having Down’s syndrome is enough to be killed. It must change. We do not fear abortion supporters as they are weak and there are few of them. The pro-life movement is much stronger in our country. We will force the politicians to ban killing people.”
The proposed ban would reportedly make abortion a criminal offense, punishable by up to five years imprisonment. Penalties could be imposed on both abortionists and women seeking abortions.
While many pro-lifers may agree with most of the ban’s provisions, many would object to the state taking legal action against women seeking abortions. In many cases, abortion-vulnerable women may feel that they have no other options, or are pressured, even coerced into having abortions. Many pro-lifers believe that women in such circumstances should be offered help and healing – not punishment.
Amnesty International has urged the government to reject the abortion ban, while Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has indicated support for the measure.
An opposing bill, which would legalize abortion-on-demand up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, will also be considered by Parliament. According to Radio Poland, the abortion ban has garnered roughly 450,000 signatures, while the pro-abortion measure gathered over 215,000,
Parliament has three months to take action on the opposing bills.