The battle over abortion rights in Poland is not over: national strike called for 24 October

In an article on 7 October, Anne-Marie Kramer argued that the question of access to abortion is by no means settled in Poland. The government party, PiS, is working on its own abortion bill, which is likely to propose that so-called “eugenic abortions” – abortions on the grounds of fetal congenital anomaly – to be outlawed. Given that 1,000 of the 1,044 legal abortions in Poland in 2015 were permitted on these grounds, such a law would still result in a virtual ban on abortion.Meanwhile, another citizens initiative supporting a complete ban but with no punishment for the pregnant woman, has collected 160,000 signatures and has already been submitted to the Polish parliament by the Polish Federation of Movements for the Defence of Life. It remains to be seen whether this bill will be debated.Kramer thinks it “seems certain that further restrictions will be proposed – and just as certain that further protests will take place”. Another women’s strike has been called for 24 October, this time across the whole of Poland, with pro-choice protesters determined to maintain the pressure on the government.In a blog on 18 October, Magdalena Mikulak, a graduate student at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics, UK, wrote “it remains likely that the government will… push for new restrictions on abortion, particularly in relation to fetal abnormality”.SOURCES: The conversation, by Anne-Marie Kramer, 7 October 2016 +The victory of abortion rights protesters in Poland is likely to be short lived, by Magdalena Mikulak, 18 October 2016