Poles block streets in protest against curtailment of abortion law

Once again, thousands of protesters in Poland have taken to the streets to protest the curtailment of the abortion law. On the fifth day of protest, protesters blocked streets and squares in dozens of cities.

Protesters in cars, on bicycles or on foot occupy the main intersections in the capital Warsaw. As a result, cars and trams got stuck for quite some time. The protesters beat drums and set off fireworks.

Banners called on the conservative government to step down. People also wore lyrics such as ‘I wish I could abort my government’ and ‘I want choice, not terror’. In the city of Krakow, protesters chanted “it’s war”, something that has been shouted more often during demonstrations in recent days.

Since Thursday, there has been fierce protest against the Constitutional Court’s ruling that abortion is not allowed due to serious abnormalities in the fetus. Yesterday, church services were hindered and protesters sprayed graffiti on churches. On Friday, protesters lined up at the home of Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling conservative PiS party. The police used tear gas, among other things.

Life threatening

Polish women, when the law comes into force, can only have an abortion if the pregnancy is life-threatening for the woman or if she has become pregnant through rape or incest. It is expected that Polish women who wish to have an abortion will go to it even more often than before will divert abroad.

Critics accuse the judges of the court of listening to the government. In 2018 the Polish government previously tried to restrict the abortion law in the same way. Due to the massive protest against this, it was abandoned at the time.

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