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Poland’s New Abortion Restrictions Show Women’s Rights Taking a Few Steps Back

Poland has always been known to have one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, having thousands of Polish women travel abroad to have the procedure performed.  Those laws got stricter after Poland’s highest court issued a near-total ban on abortion on October 22, 2020. These new rules have led to some of the largest protests Poland has witnessed in decades after thousands of Pro-Choice supporters have gathered across different cities and towns to fight against these changes. Women have dressed in long red robes similarly to the characters of “The Handmaid’s Tale” to demonstrate how women are being forced to carry a child for reproductive purposes against their own will.

The new changes to abortion laws in Poland do not mean that no one is permitted to have the procedure done. Instead, the new laws just make it more difficult for just anyone to go and try to get an abortion. These changes only allow for the procedure to be done in cases of incest, rape, or when the mother’s life is in danger. However, those cases simply make up 2% of all abortion procedures performed in Poland. The vast majority of abortion procedures performed in Poland are due to fetal defects, meaning that with these new changes women will be forced to have a child that they know will die shortly after birth. Poland women are now fighting for their human right to choose what to do with their bodies, and they are fighting for all women whose reproductive rights are in danger? 

Khelyn Arteaga

St. John's '21

A senior legal studies major at St.John's University. A New York City native that loves musical theater, hanging out with her friends, and going to Bryant park during holiday season.
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