by Steven Ertelt
March 28, 2007
Warsaw, Poland (LifeNews.com) — With Poland’s political leaders considering a measure to strengthen the nation’s abortion ban, thousands of pro-life advocates took to the streets on Wednesday to argue for a complete ban on abortion. The nation currently allows it only in cases of rape or incest or saving the mother’s life.
Organized by a Catholic radio station and a pro-life political party, more than 4,000 people appeared in front of the nation’s parliament, where legislators were holding a debate.
"I am for life," Miroslawa Kledzinska told AP. "God gives life and only He has the right to take life away."
Meanwhile, a much smaller group of 700 people rallied in favor of abortion and held banners saying they didn’t want politicians or the Pope to determine when abortion should be allowed.
The Polish parliament is considering three different proposals put forward by the League of Polish Families political party, the smallest of three political parties that form the ruling coalition government, the main ruling Law and Justice party and by President Lech Kaczynski.
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. He’s proposed a less protective measure.
However, the Associated Press reports that none of the constitutional amendments have a good chance of passing because they need a two-thirds vote to be approved and the main opposition Civic Platform party is opposed to banning more abortions.
A vote on the proposals is expected in mid-April.
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.
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.