Abortion has been a back and forth issue in Poland since I remember. The country is quite conservative and the influence of the Catholic Church on EVERYTHING is considerable. The current legislation regarding abortion in Poland allows a woman to terminate pregnancy in three cases: 1) the fetus is malformed 2) the pregnancy endangers the mother’s health and/or life and 3) the pregnancy is an effect of an unlawful deed (rape, incest, underage sex etc). In reality the doctors in the public health system often make sure that a woman who’s entitled to abortion won’t have one. Theoretically if they don’t perform abortions themselves they should refer a woman to a doctor who does. A referral, however, may be intentionally postponed and as the abortion is only allowed till a certain point, this may result in a woman being forced to give birth. The termination of pregnancy in other cases than the above-mentioned is illegal.
The current legislation proposal wants to ban abortion entirely, regardless of the circumstances. I find it somehow entertaining how the Catholics who think that capital punishment should be reinstated at the same time fight with “killing of the unborn children” as if the latter wasn’t an oxymoron. I do believe that there should be some legislation regarding when an abortion can be performed at the latest. It’s in fact a child at some point but this point isn’t within the period which was arbitrary decided to be three months.
The proposed ban means that under no circumstances a female should be considered anything more than a walking incubator. Regardless of whether you were raped by your father at the age of 12 or a person who carries a child that will die just after birth, you’re supposed to go through with it. A woman feelings about the pregnancy and capacity to raise a child don’t matter. If a condom broke one must deal with the consequences (as Poland is trying to ban the after pill popularly referred in the country to as an “early miscarriage inducing pill”) and have a baby that was not wanted therefore bringing a yet another unhappy human being to the world. This is because as humans we should not “stop the flow of life” that’s orchestrated by God. It is, however, acceptable for many of these people to do so in case of a criminal and take his or her life away. That on the other hand must be a God’s mistake which we, the mortals should get rid off. Let alone medication, chemotherapy and all the other things we do to alter the course of the Nature…
Why someone’s religious views should regulate a country’s legislation and everyone’s choices, remains unclear to me. I also have not heard any solutions or even suggestions regarding what to do with the children that are unwanted and born or wanted but born mentally or physically handicapped.
I don’t support abortion as an additional contraception method. As numerous sources suggest it is traumatic to the mother and it should happen as rarely as possible. I believe that women should be educated about contraception and be given a proper access to it, which is also not the case in Poland. Non-refundable public healthcare contraceptives are too expensive for many. Others, especially from small towns, fear judgement of asking the one local gynaecologist for the pill particularly if they’re unmarried. The judgement is strongly associated with the Catholic mentality as the Catholic Church even in the XXI century prohibits contraception. Sexuality is supported only when it serves procreation and only within the “sanctity of marriage”. Obviously reality has little to do with the Catholic ideals and even those who consider themselves members of the Church have premaritial and extramaritial sex. With limited access to contraception it results in unwanted pregnancies. Instead of fighting with women who have to face the difficult choice between an unwanted child and an abortion, one should fight with the system that causes many of them to find themselves in this situation at the first place.
It may come as a surprise to many but women are not only incubators. Human beings have much more to do in life than procreate. We’re facing an overpopulation and there are a lot of children our there in orphanages already waiting for people to love them. Sex can be a beautiful thing and it should not be downgraded to its biological function. Last but not least, to conceive a child isn’t an achievement, it’s to bring it up that is. All women who made a difficult decision of not having a child and having an abortion deserve respect as it’s not an easy decision to make. I really hope the ban won’t become reality. Even the current compromise of limited abortion rights isn’t enough but judging where Poland is today, one shouldn’t expect respect of women rights in the country any time soon. That’s exactly the reason why thousands of women decided to protest yesterday against the new legislation as a part of a #blackprotest (#czarnyprotest). The solidarity the Polish women showed this Monday is truly remarkable and I hope it will make the legislators think a little bit about what they’re doing.