Monday 3 October 2016 – Abortion Rights, the UK’s pro-choice campaign, sends a message of support and solidarity to women in Poland who go on general strike today against proposed laws that would criminalise all abortion and sentence women who have terminations to five years in prison. Doctors who provide healthcare to women ending their pregnancies would also be liable to prosecution and imprisonment.
Poland already outlaws abortion in all cases except when the life of the foetus is under threat, where there is a grave threat to the health of the pregnant woman, or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.
There are currently only 2,000 legal abortions in Poland every year, although women’s groups estimate that up to 150,000 terminations are performed illegally or abroad. According to the WHO, 47,000 women die globally each year as a result of complications of unsafe abortion.
Kerry Abel, Chair of Abortion Rights, says: “We stand in solidarity with women in Poland who are saying no to a proposed new law that will make women criminals for exercising their right to decide the use of their own bodies, and subject many to a death sentence because of the risks of unsafe abortion.”