Poland Considers New Law Banning All Abortions and Protecting Unborn Children

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 5, 2017   |   5:01PM   |   Warsaw, Poland

Polish lawmakers are considering legislation again this year to protect unborn babies’ right to life and ban all abortions.

A strong Catholic country, Poland has been debating a complete abortion ban for months. Last fall, massive abortion protests prompted lawmakers to back away from legislation to support unborn babies’ right to life.

However, Euro News reports they are considering the pro-life legislation again this spring.

Poland currently prohibits most abortions. Abortion is legal in cases of rape and incest, the life or health of the mother or severe fetal deformities – though “severe” is widely defined and unborn babies with disabilities like Down syndrome legally can be aborted under the current law. The Polish Ministry of Health reported 1,040 abortions in 2015.

The report does not give many details about the proposed legislation, other than it would prohibit abortions in cases where unborn babies are diagnosed with some sort of disease, disability or fatal anomaly.

Abortion activists are using children with disabilities to attack the proposal and push their radical, pro-abortion agenda.

They point out that families caring for children with disabilities are struggling and need better support, but then they use the need to claim that aborting these children before they are born is a good solution.

In a heavily biased article, Euro News reported 95 percent of the abortions in 2015 in Poland were the “consequences” of fetal anomalies or a life-threatening condition.

Anna Brengos, a public relations specialist at the Children Help Civic Foundation, told the news outlet: “Bearing in mind that the Polish welfare system is currently failing to provide for every patient, not to mention children with severe disabilities, the annual birth of a further 1,000 babies suffering from terminal illness would simply mean that it will not be the government who will carry the burden of the responsibility and provide for the child, but the families and charities”

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Katarzyna Łabędź, spokesperson for the Federation of Women and Family Planning, added: “The dramatic number of women who either decided to give birth to a baby suffering from severe illness or were denied legal abortion, shows that they are facing unimaginable challenges every day.”

She continued by accusing pro-life lawmakers of being pro-birth rather than pro-life.
“However, once the baby with disability is born, the mother is left completely alone because she cannot count on governmental support,” Łabędź said. “Thus, banning access to legal abortion in cases where the child would be born with terminal illness would simply force all women to make this very heroic decision without having a chance to think through whether or not they’d be able to cope with its consequences.”

Krzysztof Michałkiewicz, of the Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People at the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, said the government is increasing support for children with disabilities and their families through the “For Life” program. He said more could be done, but the program is a start.

“I agree that help should be provided for all the children in need and that the government should assist them with a more meaningful contribution, and we are trying to keep that in mind,” Michałkiewicz told the news outlet.

The new “For Life” program gives families €930 ($1,000) when they give birth to a child with disabilities to help with medical care and other expenses, according to the report.

But abortion activists argued that it is not enough. They said women will be burdened if Poland makes it illegal to abort babies with disabilities.

This smacks of deadly eugenic thinking. The argument basically is that it is ok to kill people who may be a burden to their families or society, that killing, not supporting, a human being who has more needs is the solution.

And unborn babies with disabilities increasingly are being targeted for abortions. In Iceland, one expert said no babies with Down syndrome have been born in the past five years because they all were aborted.

This discrimination has been reported in Poland, too. Legislation to prohibit all abortions began gaining attention a year ago after a horrific story came to light about 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 news outlets reported that the baby may have been aborted because of a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Last year, the pro-life bill appeared to have strong support from the Polish people. Almost half a million citizens signed the citizen-led bill, and polling found that 58 percent of Poles support a ban on abortions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

However, Poland has been facing continued pressure from pro-abortion groups, the United Nations and others to expand its legalization of abortions.