Poland President Opposes Measure to Strengthen Law Against Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 9, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Poland President Opposes Measure to Strengthen Law Against Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 9
, 2007

Warsaw, Poland (LifeNews.com) — The president of Poland has come out against a measure the nation’s parliament is considering that would strengthen Poland’s pro-life laws that prohibit abortions. Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s comments come after disagreement last week between his brother, who is the Prime Minister, and a leading government official.

Deputy Prime Minister Roman Giertych, who heads the League of Polish Families, the smallest of three political parties that form the ruling coalition government in the eastern European nation, wants the new measure.

Giertych’s party and Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s own Law and Justice party want to change the Poland constitution to make it difficult to ever legalize abortion in the future.

However, Kaczynski and his brother Lech, who is Poland’s president, don’t want to change the constitution and don’t want to prohibit abortions in cases of rape and incest.

According to a Catholic World News report, Lech Kaczynski spoke about the measure on Friday and said he opposed it.

“It is not the right time for a change,” he said, adding that he supports current Polish law allowing abortions only in the very rare cases of rape and incest or to save the life of the mother.

Meanwhile, Maria Kaczynska, the president’s wife, drew criticism the previous day for signing a statement against the bill.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski told Reuters last week he opposed the measure, saying, "I believe the state cannot force a woman to give birth to a child after a rape."

CWN reports that the division threatens to split the Polish governing coalition but added that Giertych and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, came to an agreement about comments Giertych made to the EU about opposing abortion.

A recent public opinion poll by Polska Grupa Badawcza finds that a majority of Poles support the proposed amendment to the Polish Constitution that would guarantee the right to life to every citizen from conception to natural death.

Some 52.4% support the law that would ban abortion and euthanasia in all cases, 33.3% are against it and 14.3% remain undecided.

The Polish newspaper reported that both pro-life and pro-abortion advocates rallied in Warsaw over the weekend and Posen Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki wrote to members of the Polish parliament asking them to support the pro-life measure.

Last month, a United Nations committee came under fire for criticizing Poland and saying it hadn’t done enough to comply with the CEDAW treaty and to allow more abortions. CEDAW committee members questioned the Polish government on its access to abortion.

In response, a Polish official said that "every abortion is a tragedy" and said the biggest problem is the ability to provide support for single women who are pregnant. He said that need, not abortion, was the biggest question to address.

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.

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.