Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Poland : Access to Safe and Legal Abortion – Polish parliament debate, June 22 and 23 2022

with one comment

In Ireland – especially during the dark days of the anti-abortion 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution ((1983-2018) – women had to travel abroad to get an abortion. In Ukraine today many women raped by invading Russian soldiers flee to Poland where they cannot get an abortion. The left wing party Razem is proposing legislation in the parliament to end the abortion ban in Poland. We must extend solidarity and support.

Razem reports :

A great challenge of immediate concern in Poland is the access to safe and legal abortion. Women’s rights to decide about their own bodies have been extremely limited in our country. Under current laws, abortion is permissible only in case of rape, incest or threat to the mother’s health and life. Additionally, as a consequence of social and political pressures, doctors often refuse to perform the procedure. This directly causes the suffering and deaths of many women.

Razem and several national feminist organisations, have drafted a bill “Legal Abortion. Without compromises.” to end the abortion ban and provide legal and unconditional access to abortion until the 12th week of gestation. This is a citizen’s bill for which Razem and partners gathered over 200 000 signatures thus obligating the Polish Parliament to bring it to a vote. The debate on the bill will take place during the parliamentary sessions on the 22nd and 23rd of June.

Women in Ukraine Raped by Russian Invading Soldiers

The European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) reports :

Since February 24th, Ukrainian women are facing increasing levels of gender based violence as a consequence of the Russian invasion: (1) Russian troops are massively using rape against women and children as a war weapon. (2) Domestic violence against women and children has significantly increased. (3) Women displaced inside Ukraine and abroad, looking for safe shelter face an acute risk of gender-based and sexual violence. Rape and consequent forced pregnancies are present in all these forms of gender-based violence.
Although abortion is legally provided on request up to the 12th week in Ukraine, the war context has limited access to healthcare, including reproductive health services. The problem is particularly serious in the occupied territories, because of the displacement of healthcare practitioners, lack of medicines, targeted attacks on health facilities, and so on. Access to safe reproductive health, including family planning, contraception, abortion and maternal and newborn health is highly compromised.

Ukrainian women’s right to safe abortion on demand in Ukraine, Poland and across and beyond the European Union. We demand:

  • The immediate legalization of abortion in Poland.
  • The right to safe abortion on demand everywhere.
  • The development and reinforcement of public services permitting access to healthcare including reproductive health for all women in Ukraine, in all European countries and across the world.

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