Poland imposes a near-total ban on abortion

Demonstrators in Warsaw on Wednesday night, after the government announced that a ban on abortions due to fetal abnormalities would take effect.  Wojtek Radwanski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Thousands of outraged women, teenagers and allies returned to the streets of Poland last night, after word that a ruling that halts the termination of pregnancies for fetal abnormalities — virtually the only kind of abortion performed in the country — would come into force.
Though the decision had been made in October by the Constitutional Tribunal, its implementation was delayed after it prompted a month of protests. Yesterday, the government abruptly announced that the ruling was being published in the government’s journal, meaning it went into effect.
Poland already had one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws, with the procedure legal in only three instances: fetal abnormalities, pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, and threats to a woman’s life. The latter two remain legal.

Slogans: The protesters chanted “I think, I feel, I decide!” and “Freedom of choice instead of terror!” In Warsaw, they marched to the headquarters of the governing Law and Justice Party to songs including “I Will Survive.”

27-I-21, nytimes