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EU parliament condemns Poland's near-full ban on abortions

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Protests against tighter abortion rules in Poland
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TVN24Protests against tighter abortion rules in Poland

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday, condemning Poland's near-total ban on abortion. "A year after the Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling, MEPs are calling on the government to lift the ban on abortion that puts women’s lives at risk," the institution said in a press release.

In an official press release, the European Parliament said the "MEPs reiterate their condemnation of the illegitimate Polish Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling imposing a near-total ban on abortion".

"Last September, a 30-year-old Polish woman died of septic shock because her doctors did not perform a life-saving abortion, waiting instead for the foetus to die because of the restrictions on legal abortions in Poland. In a resolution adopted on Thursday by 373 votes in favour, 124 against and 55 abstentions, MEPs call on the Polish government to ensure that no more women in Poland die because of this restrictive law," reads the statement.

"Over the last 10 months, only 300 Polish women accessed abortion services in hospitals on the grounds of a threat to life and health. Polish women should be supported in accessing abortion services in other member states. Ruling on abortion yet another example of the political takeover of the judiciary and the systemic collapse of the rule of law in Poland," we read.

"On 22 October 2020, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the provision of the 1993 Act on Conditions of Termination of Pregnancy was unconstitutional. This act allowed abortions to take place in cases where a prenatal test or other medical considerations had indicated a high probability of a severe and irreversible foetal defect or an incurable illness that threatened the foetus’ life. This entailed a de facto abortion ban, as the vast majority of legal abortions in Poland were based on these grounds," we read at the EU parliament website.

The resolution also condemns "the increasingly hostile and violent environment for women human rights defenders in Poland and call on the Polish authorities to guarantee their right to express themselves publicly without fear of repercussions or threats.

The MEPs also strongly criticised "the disproportionate use of violence against protesters by law enforcement and urge the Polish authorities to ensure that those who attack protesters are held accountable for their actions".

"Highlighting that the ruling on abortion is yet another example of the political takeover of the judiciary and the systemic collapse of the rule of law in Poland, MEPs ask the Council to include this issue in its investigation into the rule of law situation in Poland by expanding the scope of its hearings," the institution said.


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