Editorial by: Mia Klodowska and Shery Wolff
Women and men from across Poland have brought chaos to the streets of Warsaw with the intention of bringing change to the recent laws put into place by the Polish government concerning abortion rights and restrictions.
While Poland’s abortion laws were among the strictest in Europe, on October 22 2020, the Constitutional Tribunal strived to completely terminate any chance of abortion, except in circumstances of rape, incest, or if the pregnancy results risks to the mother’s health.
However, the release of these laws has now been delayed due to the mass protests where over tens of thousands of people took part, according to The New York Times.
As young writers covering this topic, we decided to share our views on the controversy going on in this country.
Fireworks, fires, and lightning bolts all symbolize the anger of women and men who have been supporting the cause. The feeling of having any right or decision being stripped away from someone is the way many people feel in the situation of a split nation. Even with the stricter laws, it was said that fewer than 2,000 legal abortions take place each year, but over 200,000 abortions happen either abroad or illegally.
We believe that putting such laws in place isn’t stopping abortions, but rather putting people in endanger as many people will be forced to have unsafe abortions. We are firm believers that everyone should have a choice over their bodies. Some people are forced into starting unwanted families due to not having the option of having a safe abortion, putting many young women in fear of being unable to financially support not only themselves.
One theory many people have about the timing of this event is that the leading party has decided to announce the release of such laws while the numbers of COVID-19 have been rising, stripping away any possibility of protesting, as public demonstrations of any type were put to a stop during the nation-wide lockdown. We support everyone who has ignored such stripping away of human rights, and who have taken their opinions to the center of Poland’s capital to be heard. Polish women demand to have a right to decide on their life, while the government’s interests are centered on increasing Poland’s population for a better economy.
Many politicians have turned their back on the citizens of Poland. Kaja Godek stated that this new view on abortions should be a good example for the rest of the world’s governments. “Today Poland is an example for Europe, it’s an example for the world.” This politician’s views have been very controversial across the country, as she has been fighting for opinions and views which previously were strictly stereotypical to men throughout the high court. As a woman herself, she will eventually be affected by the laws that she supports.
Mothers who find out that the child they are carrying is terminal ill, and will die a few hours after birth, are still forced to carry the child for 9 months. It is torture for women to have to go through these months knowing that the baby has no chance of surviving after birth. Some mothers hold their babies till their last breath knowing all along they won’t make it long.
This is cruelty for both the mother and the child, as the child has no chance of survival, forcing the mother to go through the pregnancy, and watch the child die in her arms.