Poland Debates Abortion While the EU Says There is a “Right to Abortion”

Poland is famously very pro-life – but that may be dismantled in the coming weeks. Abortion is currently legal only in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life or health is endangered. While it is not criminal for a woman in Poland to have an abortion, anyone assisting her is committing a crime. But the recently elected Donald Tusk wants to allow abortions until 12 weeks. There are 4 bills being discussed by lawmakers. One of these bills would decriminalize assisting a woman in an abortion; two would allow for abortion through 12 weeks; and the fourth would maintain the ban on abortion except in cases of “fetal abnormalities.” HLI Poland celebrated a huge victory just a few years ago when they united with several other pro-life groups and gathered 830,000 signatures to petition the government to ban abortion for “fetal abnormalities.” They were successful! But that victory is now being threatened by these new bills. And just today, Polish Parliament voted against rejecting these bills, which means that they have made the first step towards being passed.

But not all Polish politicians agree with Tusk and his coalition. President Andrzej Duda, who recently vetoed a bill that would have made the morning-after pill available over-the-counter for girls and women 15 years of age and older, is also likely to veto any bill that would allow abortion. Anti-lifers in Parliament do not have the three-fifths majority necessary to overturn Duda’s potential veto. This gives great hope to Polish pro-lifers.

"President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda" by Jakub Szymczuk is licensed under CC BY 4.0 / Cropped from original

President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda” by Jakub Szymczuk is licensed under CC BY 4.0 / Cropped from original

At the same time, the European Union voted in favor of including abortion in their Charter of Fundamental Rights – thereby putting immense pressure on all EU members to allow abortion under the false belief that it is a human “right.” And EU members called specifically on Poland and Malta, which are the two most pro-life European countries, to allow abortion. But as the EU bishops have affirmed, abortion can never be a human right as it goes against the true rights of both women and their children – most especially the fundamental right to life, which is necessary for any other right to exist. They restated that human life is sacred and inviolable – abortion directly violates human life. The bishops also called on the EU to respect the differences in cultures and traditions and to not impose their family and gender ideologies on nations within and outside of the EU.

This EU vote comes at a convenient time for Tusk and his coalition. Using this excuse could make it easier for anti-life politicians to push these bills through. Let us pray that President Duda – and all pro-life politicians – stand firm in their convictions in the face of international political pressure, and that even after Duda’s final term ends in the summer of 2025, that Poland returns to its Catholic heritage and upholds human rights and dignity by recognizing the personhood of the unborn child.

Marisa Cantu has an MS in political science and international affairs and a BA in political science. She has also studied international studies and French. She has a strong background in nonprofit work, research, writing, and policy proposal and analysis.

In her free time, Marisa enjoys painting, writing, cooking, and spending time with her husband.

Did you find this useful?

Leave a Comment