A Huge Victory for Life in Poland!

The voice of the Polish people has been heard. The “Stop Abortion” citizens’ initiative, which had received 450,000 signatures from Polish citizens, has cleared its first hurdle in the parliamentary process this morning by a very wide margin.

polishparliament The “Stop Abortion” proposal was one of three citizens initiatives—proposals that receive over 100,000 signatures—considered by the Polish Parliament this morning. Also considered were the “Deputies bill in defense of life and the health of unborn children conceived in vitro” to regulate the in vitro fertilization industry; and the “Save Women” initiative, which would have liberalized Poland’s very restrictive abortion laws.

Members of Parliament voted 267 – 154 to send the “Stop Abortion” proposal to commissions, which means that it will be debated for an indefinite period, before a final bill is written and put to a parliamentary vote. The proposal was passed by such a wide margin that it is very likely that a pro-life law will ultimately be passed.

The opposing “Save Women” citizens’ initiative received 215,000 signatures, but was voted down by a vote of 230-173. Central to the proposal was the liberalization of abortion laws for health of the mother and fetal deformity up to 24 weeks.

Importantly, this was a “conscience vote”—so there was no party pressure, and members of parliament were allowed to vote their conscience. This is believed to more accurately reflect the will of parliament and those they represent.

In 1993, Poland became the only developed nation to go from completely unrestricted legal abortion to having very strong abortion restrictions in place. It is estimated that fewer than 1,000 abortions are committed annually in Poland. Pro-life doctors in Poland are quick to point out that even with its restrictions on abortion, Poland has among the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world.

“We are very pleased to see such a strong vote for life, especially since members know they will be facing economic threats from the European Union,” said Ewa Kowalewska, director of HLI Poland. “With this vote you see the heart of the Polish people, since MPs were allowed to vote their conscience.”

She continued:

The battle now becomes one of helping the Polish people understand the attacks that are about to come from the EU and from left wing media and NGOs funded by George Soros. It is widely known that Mr. Soros has poured millions into saving the left wing Polish newspaper from bankruptcy, and that he funds the radical opposition to pro-life bills. Sadly, they have been successful with their propaganda campaigns, especially among young people.

Poland has excellent maternal health care; our maternal mortality statistics are among the lowest in the world even though we have—indeed, because we have—strong restrictions on abortion, so the pro-abortion effort’s branding as ‘Save Women’ is extremely dishonest.

Ours is a very pro-life society that wants to protect women’s health even as we eliminate exceptions on abortion that are used to deceive people. This is why the other side focuses on eugenics, or demanding unlimited abortion because of the tiny number of children born with serious disabilities. But killing a child does not cure him and does not prevent disease. We reject eugenics and want to work with all people of good will to continue to improve all health care options for women and mothers.

There is a great irony that critics of the pro-life initiative say that the very popular effort, which obviously passed with a very wide margin in the democratic process and gained a huge number of signatures—is ‘anti-democratic.’ These radical groups are funded by billionaires from outside our nation, they lost a democratic vote, and they are saying that this is a ‘failure of democracy.’ This is quite obviously absurd, and for the unelected European Union powers to start repeating this absurd claim is insulting not only to the Polish people, but to all thinking people who value democracy.

About HLI Staff

HLI staff writers bring you stories from the mission field and the latest information on life and family issues. All HLI articles are true to Catholic teaching.

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