Amnesty International Demands Polish Government Not Approve Legislation to Ban Abortions

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jun 14, 2016   |   12:47PM   |   Warsaw, Poland

An international pro-abortion group is trying to stop Poland from passing a popular new bill that would totally ban abortions.

Amnesty International, which calls itself a human rights group, sent a letter to Poland Prime Minister Beata Szydlo on Tuesday demanding that her government reject the legislation, ABC News reports.

The citizen-lead bill would ban all abortions except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. In Poland, abortion currently is legal in cases of rape, life or health of the mother or severe fetal deformities.

The pro-abortion group wrote, “If passed into law, this proposal will violate women’s and girls’ human rights, including their right to life, health and to be free from torture and other cruel, inhuman or and degrading treatment or punishment.”

For the pro-life bill to be considered by the government, citizens need to collect 100,000 signatures. According to ABC, pro-lifers said they now have enough support for the bill to send it to lawmakers.

Two leading government officials also have spoke up in support of the measure. In March, Prime Minister Szydlo told Radio Poland that she supports the citizen bill, and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party in Poland, said he plans to follow  Catholic leaders’ call to pass the measure.

In April, more than 100 Polish journalists also signed an open letter to the members of the parliament, supporting the ban and encouraging legislators to change the current law.

Catholic Church leaders also are urging legislators to pass the measure, and Polish priests read a statement from the pulpit in support of the bill in April, LifeNews reported.

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“Catholics’ position on this is clear, and unchangeable. One needs to protect every person’s life from conception to natural death,” the Polish bishops said in the statement. “We ask the lawmakers and the government to initiate the legislation.”

However, some pro-abortion feminist groups already have staged protests against the citizen bill, claiming it would lead to dangerous back alley abortions and force women to travel to other countries to have abortions. In most European countries, abortion is legal in the first trimester.

Deutsche Welle report:s “The Federation for Women and Family Planning estimates that about 150,000 illegal abortions are performed each year. Legal abortions in Poland, which has a population of 38 million, are limited to around 700 to 1,800 per year. The National Health Fund says there were more than 1,800 abortions in 2014, compared to 1,350 in 2013.” However, there are no official figures about illegal abortions in Poland, and pro-abortion groups have been known to over-inflate illegal abortion estimates.

The citizen bill gained attention this winter after the horrific story of a late-term baby who allegedly was born alive after a failed abortion attempt at a Warsaw hospital and screamed for an hour as it was left to die. Some reports suggested the baby was aborted because of Down syndrome, but that was not confirmed.