Feminist and abortion activists have launched a series of protests against a proposed law in Poland banning abortions that target babies with disabilities.
The proposed legislation, drafted by parliamentarian Kaja Godek, would protect babies with disabilities such as Down syndrome from being selected for elimination. The bill will be debated by legislators in Sejm on Wednesday.
The international abortion lobby has organized a series of protests but complain that Poland is taking advantage of the coronavirus lockdown to move the legislation forward while mass demonstrations are forbidden.
Instead, activist Marta Lempart and Polish Women’s Strike have organized a live 8-hour “protest without interruption” on Facebook, to feature 48 guests.
Meanwhile, masked activists from Dziewuchy London covered the Polish Embassy in London with homemade cardboard banners. Pro-abortion activists in Wroclaw have organized protests in grocery store lines and while also carrying out direct protests in their vehicles and on bicycles.
Krystyna Kacpura, the director of the Federation for Women and Family Planning, said in a press release: “This is a cruel blow for women, given in the worst times ever. We will protest in any possible manner.”
Abortion activists have been attempting to remove restrictions on at-home abortions during the pandemic while pushing for abortion to be recognized as an “essential” service, backed by groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
“European governments must act urgently to guarantee safe and timely access to abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leah Hoctor, Regional Director for Europe, Center for Reproductive Rights. “They should move swiftly to eradicate all medically unnecessary requirements that hamper access to abortion care and should authorize women to access early medical abortion from their homes.”