by Steven Ertelt
October 27, 2006
Warsaw, Poland (LifeNews.com) — Poland’s leaders have said they don’t want to re-open the abortion debate there despite a call from some pro-life lawmakers to make more abortions illegal. Lawmakers in the Polish parliament want to remove the rape and incest exceptions from the nation’s abortion ban but Poland’s president and prime minister disagree.
"I am for keeping the status quo," Polish President Lech Kaczynski said Friday, according to a Reuters report. "The compromise reached on abortion 13 years ago is good."
Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski agreed with his brother, saying he wanted to avoid another debate about abortion.
Because they oppose changing the nation’s current law, a vote on tightening the ban is expected to be defeated. Reuters reported that Poland’s parliament sent the bill back to a committee on Friday and a vote in the lower house is expected in the next few months.
When communism fell in this eastern European nation in 1989, Polish politicians reached an agreement with Catholic Church leaders to make abortion illegal in most cases.
But some lawmakers say there is no reason that the babies conceived as a result of sexual abuse deserve to die because of the actions of a rapist.
The conservative LPF party, a junior member of the ruling coalition of parties wants to limit abortions in those cases and include protections for disabled babies targeted by abortion.
The party also wants a constitutional amendment added to the nation’s constitution guaranteeing that all people have the right to life from the moment of conception.
Professor Maciej Giertych, a MEP from the League of Polish Families, explained the reasons for the action in an interview with Polskie Radio.
"We would like to see the restrictions cover life from conception, throughout pregnancy to birth," he said.
"There is no need to penalize the conceived children for the sins of the parents," Giertych added. "There is also an exception which says that if the child is disabled, it should be killed. we want to protect the disabled from conception and not only from birth."
Abortion advocates said they oppose the proposal.
"We are strongly against the proposal to introduce to the Polish Constitution the protection of unborn life from the moment of conception. Such provision, if accepted by Parliament, will mean in practice a full ban on abortion," Wanda Nowicka, from the pro-abortion Federation For Women and Family Planning, said.
A change to the constitution would require a two-thirds majority vote in parliament, a tough hurdle.
The European Union and the United Nations have put pressure on Poland to change its pro-life laws and abortion advocates previously anchored an abortion boat outside the country to do abortions just outside Polish waters.