When They Take to the Streets…

Polish Protesters Force the Government to Delay Implementation of Abortion Ban

| revcom.us


The women of Poland are taking to the streets in courageous defiance of a ban on abortion decreed by the Constitutional Tribunal … and the government has been forced to pause and step back. For 14 days women, and men, have poured into the streets, hundreds of thousands of them, facing down right-wing thugs and government threats—determined that this brutal decree denying women the right to terminate a pregnancy where the fetus faced severe abnormalities will not stand.

According to the Polish Constitution, a decree from the Tribunal is irreversible and the decree was to be published and made official on November 2. But November 2 came and went and the decree was not published. In the face of the protests different sections of the government had begun to maneuver.

Jarosław Kaczyński, the fascist leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party, called on his base to “defend Poland, defend patriotism”—a barely disguised call to attack the protests—while President Andrzej Duda, a secondary leader in the Polish ruling structure, broke ranks and submitted “a proposal of changes.” The proposal which would have eased some aspects of the restriction was to be taken up by Parliament on November 4, but the session was postponed till mid-November. One opposition lawmaker tweeted, “They got scared of the protests.”

The President’s proposal is hardly satisfactory, allowing for abortion only in the case of “lethal” fetal abnormalities, and the fight is not over. But the government has paused.

This is what the people are capable of when they take to the streets in their thousands and millions.

Polish protestorsProtesters in Warsaw, October 28. After 14 straight days of protest, the government of Poland has been forced to delay implementation of an abortion ban. (Photo: AP)



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