Last week, Poland voted against a proposal to completely ban abortion.
This is significant because Poland has stringent rules as to when abortions could be used: only in “cases of rape, incest, a threat to the life of the mother or irreparable damage to the fetus.” Poland has one of the strongest policies against abortion in Europe. Right now, that rule still stands, though the total abortion ban has not moved forward with the country’s Law and Justice ruling party.
The proposed ban would’ve carried a five-year prison sentence both for women undergoing the abortion and their doctors who assisted.
The day before the ruling, Polish women turned out in enormous numbers to protest the proposed ban. It’s estimated that Warsaw, the Polish capital, saw around 30K+ women protesting. There were also protests around the country, with many women not going to work and many offices had to shut down for the day.
The proposed abortion ban came from a petition signed by 450K+ people. This represents 1.2% of Poland’s 38M+ residents.
A recent poll, taken before the protest and subsequent ruling, found that 74% of Polish residents don’t want the current abortion laws to change.