After two weeks of violent pro-abortion protests, Polish government leaders Tuesday decided to delay the implementation of a high court ruling that protects unborn babies with disabilities from discrimination.
ABC News reports Poland’s constitutional court ruling was scheduled to go into effect Monday. Now, it is not clear when the government will enforce the ban on eugenic abortions.
“There is a discussion going on, and it would be good to take some time for dialogue and for finding a new position in this situation that is difficult and stirs high emotions,” said Michal Dworczyk, spokesperson for Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
If enforced, the ruling could save thousands of babies’ lives. Polish health officials reported 1,100 abortions in 2019, and most were because the unborn baby was diagnosed with a disability such as Down syndrome.
Marcin Matczak, a law professor at Warsaw University, told ABC that the government is setting a bad precedent by refusing to enforce the ruling.
“This is by far the worst option,” Matczak said. “It boils down to this approach that if someone does not like a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal, he may not publish it.”
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Meanwhile, abortion activists are demanding the “right” to discriminate against unborn babies with disabilities. They have been rioting across Poland ever since the high court announced its ruling Oct. 22. Rioters have been vandalizing buildings, interrupting church services, harassing priests and churchgoers and blocking streets in major cities. Nearly 100 people have been arrested, according to an AP report last week.
Late last week, leading abortion activist Marta Lempart with the pro-abortion group Strajk Kobiet called for more vandalism and violence, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“Of course you should do that. You should do what you feel, what you think, what is effective and what they deserve,” Lempart said when asked about the violence.
Polish political leaders appear to be caving into the abortion activists’ threats and demands. According to news reports, the prime minister asked pro-abortion leaders to enter talks on the matter.
According to CNA, President Andrzej Duda also announced plans to introduce a bill that would allow unborn babies to be aborted if they are diagnosed with a fatal abnormality.
However, ABC News noted that abortion activists do not want a compromise, and they plan to hold more protests in the coming days.
Poland is one of the few European countries that protects unborn babies from abortions in almost all circumstances. On Oct. 22, its constitutional court struck down one of the few exceptions allowed in its 1993 abortion law – abortions on unborn babies with disabilities. The justices ruled that the exception violates the constitution because it discriminates against human beings with disabilities.
Protests began soon after the ruling was announced, and pro-abortion feminist groups said they are planning more protests for the coming weeks.
Huge crowds of protesters have been blocking streets and violating city coronavirus restrictions in Warsaw and other cities. Some protesters over the weekend carried signs that read, “This is war” and “Poland is a woman,” according to Reuters.
UCA News reports protesters also broke windows at the Archbishop of Czestochowa’s home last week. Other Catholic leaders reported vandalism, harassment and interruptions at Mass across the country.
The BBC reported police arrested 15 pro-abortion protesters after they began throwing stones in Warsaw. The report, along with others from NBC News and the AP, indicate several rioters also were arrested for trying to break through a police blockade outside the home of Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is pro-life. Reports say police used pepper spray to quell the rioters.
Abortion activists also have been breaking coronavirus restrictions in Warsaw. The city has a 10-person limit on gatherings, and city police said they fined 35 people for breaking the restriction, the Independent reports.
The Daily Mail also reported about pro-abortion rioters vandalizing churches in several cities across the country. According to AFP, police detained several pro-abortion protesters for trying to force their way into a church in Warsaw.
In the city of Poznan, dozens of pro-abortion protesters did break into a church and disrupt a service, shouting, “We’ve had enough!” and “Barbarians!” as they held signs up in front of the altar, the Mail reports.