The citizens’ project of the legislative initiative “Stop abortion” proposes to remove the legal merits for abortion when the fetus is badly injured, meaning the so-called “eugenic reason”, which is the basis for almost 98% of legal abortions in Poland.

In the past several days, the project sparked online protests of the feminist communities as well as supporters of abortion. The protests have been taking place online, since due to the coronavirus outbreak there is no possibility for mass gatherings like the one that took place in 2016, famously dubbed the “Black Protest”. Many celebrities joined the virtual manifestation on social media, like actress Krystyna Janda, TV presenter Małgorzata Rozenek or model Anja Rubik.

The project was sent to the Sejm by the end of the last term of the chamber and, according to the law, the Sejm was required to sit on the matter no longer than six months after the new term had started. In the meantime, the opposition accuses the ruling party that it only started working on the project now, along with other controversial citizens’ projects, for example introducing penalties for the sexual education of children, to distract the public from other subjects…

"It’s true that this is a citizens’ project, but it has been in the Sejm for a very long time. It is not an accident that it is being discussed only now. There hasn’t been, and there won’t be, an agreement to the tightening of the abortion bill", Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska, Civic Coalition's candidate for president commented on the matter.

Magdalena Biejat, from the Left party, went on to say:

"Why isn’t the government debating on how to help out those countless Polish families, which can’t even afford to put food on their tables? I’m sure that it’s not only the MPs of the opposition who receive cries for help from those families, but the MPs of the ruling party too. What is the government doing in this situation? It once again wants to limit women’s rights".

The project does not forbid abortion when the pregnancy threatens the health or life of the mother, nor does it ban abortion when the pregnancy is the result of rape. The ban would only apply in the case of eugenic reasons.

 

"Once again, opponents of the protection of children’s lives and supporters of the possibility to murder children before they are born don’t hesitate to lie stating that the project wants to ban abortion when the pregnancy is the result of rape or when it threatens the mother’s health or life. There is nothing about that in this project. It is very short and only aims to remove the eugenic reason. What is the eugenic reason? It means that it is possible to conduct an abortion when there is a probability of the child being born with a disease or a disability. In practice, if there is a possibility of the child being born with Down syndrome then it is legal to kill such a child in Polish hospitals", in turn stated Magdalena Korzekwa-Kaliszuk, a psychologist and attorney.

According to the statistics provided by the Ministry of Health, only 25 out of 1076 legal abortions in 2018 were conducted due to the risk of death of the mother and only 1 due to sexual assault, the rest was conducted based on the eugenic reason.