by Steven Ertelt
August 28, 2007
Warsaw, Poland (LifeNews.com) — In an effort to promote abortions in this pro-life nation, pro-abortion advocates in Poland are trying to make the case that abortion should be legalized because so many women travel to other European nations for them. The Polish Federation for Woman and Family Planning claims several thousand Poles head abroad every year.
Wanda Nowicka, the head of the pro-abortion organization, says “Women from Warsaw most often choose either Britain or the Netherlands."
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a leading abortion business in England that does half of the abortions there, said it confirms the claims.
BPAS spokeswoman Laura Riley says, “Recently we’ve noticed an increasing number of Polish women having abortions [in our clinics].”
Riley says the BBC in England has been investigating the claims and finds that about 80 percent of the women in some abortion centers are Polish. However, the report does not say whether the women were Polish residents or Poles who have moved to England.
Since joining the EU about half a million people from Poland have moved to England to live and work, which could skew the numbers.
Poland currently is one of a few nations in Europe, including Ireland and Malta, to prohibit abortions. They are only allowed to save the life of the mother, in cases of rape or incest and if the unborn child has severe physical deformities.
In April, members of the Poland parliament rejected measures there that would strengthen the nation’s abortion ban.
A majority of the Law and Justice party wanted to put the nation’s current abortion restrictions in the constitution but a minority sided with the League of Polish Families to put a stricter total abortion ban in the constitution instead.
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 percent support the law that would ban abortion and euthanasia in all cases, 33.3 percent are against it and 14.3 percentremain undecided.
In March, 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.