The Polish government plans to begin enforcing a new anti-discrimination ruling that prohibits abortions on unborn babies with disabilities.
Reuters reports the government announced that, starting Wednesday, it will enforce the October ruling by its Constitutional Court.
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.
The ruling could save thousands of babies’ lives. Polish health officials reported 1,100 abortions in 2019. The country still allows abortions in cases of rape, incest or threats to the mother’s life.
A “silent majority” of the largely Catholic country supports wide-spread protections for unborn babies, according to a recent AFP report. Evidence of this can be seen in polls and recent elections where voters repeatedly have elected strong pro-life majorities to parliament.
Recent polls indicate that the “devout Catholic country is far from turning pro-choice,” the report continued. These include an October poll by Kantar that found 62 percent believe abortion should be legal only in limited cases and 11 percent believe it should be completely illegal. Another poll by Estymator last fall found that 67 percent support the existing law, while only 19 percent want the country to expand abortions.
Pro-life advocates are active in Poland, working to educate people about unborn babies’ value and support them and their families.
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“One cannot kill a child for being sick. This is not a fetus, it is a child,” MP Maria Kurowska, of United Poland, told Reuters in October.
Mikolaj Pawlak, the commissioner for child rights in Poland, celebrated after the nation’s high court recognized that it is wrong to discriminate against unborn babies with disabilities.
“The decision of the Constitutional Court declaring eugenic abortion incompatible with the constitution is a victory of life over death,” Pawlak said in October. “It is a restoration of equal rights for every human being, including those who have not yet been born.”
Despite strong public support for unborn babies’ rights, Poland saw massive, violent protests in October after the ruling was announced.
Pro-abortion rioters vandalized buildings, disrupted church services, harassed Catholic Church leaders and blocked streets in major cities during the protests in the fall. Nearly 100 people were arrested during the first week of protests alone, according to an AP report.
Some pro-abortion leaders even called for more violence until the government meets their demands. In late October, leading abortion activist Marta Lempart with the pro-abortion group Strajk Kobiet told a local news outlet that protesters should continue to riot and vandalize, according to the Catholic News Agency.
Unborn babies with disabilities are discriminated against at an alarming rate, and this deadly discrimination is getting worse with advances in prenatal testing.
The Telegraph reports about 90 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome in the United Kingdom are aborted. A recent report in the European Journal of Human Genetics found that the number of babies with Down syndrome born in the UK dropped 54 percent since the non-invasive prenatal screening tests became available about a decade ago.
What’s more, parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort unborn babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities. One mom recently told the BBC that she was pressured to abort her unborn daughter 15 times, including right up to the moment of her baby’s birth. Another mother from Brooklyn, New York said doctors tried to convince her to abort her unborn son for weeks before they took no for an answer.