A Polish politician’s insistence that foetuses that stand no chance of survival should be allowed to be born so that they can be baptised before they die has provoked fresh demonstrations.
According to this report, massive protests erupted in Poland on Monday as women in cities across the country donned black in protest of a proposal to ban abortions in cases where foetuses were severely deformed or unable to survive after birth.
Thedemonstrations were a continuation of the “Black Monday” protests that helped defeat a proposed near-total ban of abortion that would have allowed women who underwent abortions – and the doctors who performed them – to be jailed for up to five years.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, champion of the new proposal and head of the ruling Law and Justice party, said earlier this month that he and his party wanted to ensure that even foetuses:
Certain to die, very deformed, still end up in a birth, so that the child can be baptised.
Dorota Szumilak, a 44-year-old financial analyst, said that as a Lutheran she felt discriminated against in a country where the Catholic Church organises religion classes in schools.
Agata Rybka, a 24-year-old biotechnology student who helped oversee a petition signing in central Warsaw said:
We want to live in a secular society. Right now religious issues dominate public discourse and we don’t like it.
Under Poland’s current abortion law, termination of a pregnancy is only permissible in cases of rape, irreparable damage to a foetus, or when a woman’s life is at risk.