“Keep your rosaries off our ovaries” – the Total Abortion Ban in Poland?

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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.

 

 

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11 comments

  1. bexoxo · October 4, 2016

    I, unfortunately have had the experience of being raped and having a pregnancy scare. I ended up only being late, but the thoughts that plagued my mind where horrid. What would I rather do: have a child that I hated and didn’t want, give said child up for adoption in the hopes that he/she never finds out that they are the product of a rape victim (hello mental instability for life), or have an abortion and live with the consequences, both of my own and society’s. Whatever the case may be, it should for sure be the woman’s decision.

    Liked by 2 people

    • zlotybaby · October 6, 2016

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m extremely sorry you had such an experience. Especially when a woman has already experienced a trauma, she should not be traumatized further by being forced to give birth. Its a real lack of empathy to support such a law.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. EnglishRosiee · October 4, 2016

    Good post.

    This is mental and clearly the church/god-fearing Polish government haven’t thought this one through.

    While there may be a small minority of people who use abortion as a form of contraception, I think most people make the decision to get rid of a fetus for legitimate reason – whether that is something horrific as the pregnancy being a result of rape or incest or simply someone saying they are not a position to give a child the lifestyle it deserves is quite frankly nobodies business.

    I agree with what you said that spreading ones legs and creating a baby is no great achievement. Every parent makes mistakes that’ll have an impact on their good child – even the ones that have their child’s best interests at heart. Now think about if there are a whole bunch of people who are forced to have kids they don’t want for whatever reason – it’ll give rise to lots of unwanted, unloved and most likely neglected children (some of whom might even be motherless as a result of a total ban) who’ll grow up to become adults with epic issues.

    This makes me remember this part in Freakanomics where the author does a study which shows how crime in certain parts in the USA declined as a result of the legalisation of abortion. Maybe its too simplistic to say that a total abortion ban in Poland will lead to a dramatic increase in crime – but it’s likely to have more negative impacts on society than positive.

    I’d love to know how far the proponents of the law have thought out the details beyond the abortion ban? Will the Father’s of the unwanted progeny also be held to account? Will rapists be forced to pay maintenance? Or is the Polish government willing to support the children of people who would have chosen an abortion because they were not in a position to afford a child?

    It all just seems incredibly archaic and patriarchal to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zlotybaby · October 6, 2016

      Rape in Poland is still considered to be something you “can ask for”. Why did you go to his place if you didn’t want to have sex? Why did you have cleavage? It’s all your fault mentality is still very strong. Obviously if you end up having a child as a result it’s your fault too. Everyone just keeps saying that life is sacred but no one has solutions for the increased number of handicapped and unwanted children that would be born. To look what was being said on the social media was simply painful. The woman is always to blame. We even have this saying in Polish that’s been quoted numerous times that if a bitch doesn’t give, a dog won’t take. This is the mentality you deal with over there. Who will support the whore who fucked around and now wants to kill the innocent baby? The only sex that’s socially acceptable is with a husband or a long term partner. Of course it isn’t the reality and of course only the woman is supposed to deal with the consequences – unwanted pregnancy, birth and tough decisions. Alimony cases in Poland are a joke and try to get a paternity test with a hospital full of judgy nurses.

      Like

  3. bklynboy59 · October 6, 2016

    This is quite a hot button topic …ever since the 60’s and I don’t think you can minimize the fact that not a small number but many young women have abortions as a means to eliminate an unwanted pregnancy. In fact despite the number there is more of that than we know because most of them go unreported.So what other solutions would you bring to the table to calm this ongoing debate?

    Like

    • zlotybaby · October 6, 2016

      Use contraception. If contraception fails you should be entitled to get rid off the pregnancy. I don’t know many faithful contraception users who have oopsies, though. There should be proper sexual education, abortion should be always the last resort.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · October 8, 2016

        I don’t believe contraception fails as much as people claim it’s the lack of use of one that happens more often than not.

        Liked by 1 person

      • zlotybaby · October 11, 2016

        Exactly. The question is whether people don’t know how to use it or is it just their irresponsibility. On the other hand, if you think someone can’t remember to take care of that, letting them have children doesn’t seem like a great idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bklynboy59 · October 11, 2016

        So true.

        Like

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