Skip to main site content.
Demonstrators protest a proposed near-total abortion ban in Poland front of European institutions in Brussels, on October 3, 2016. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Reproductive rights

Women across Poland go on ‘Black Monday’ strike against proposed new law to ban abortion, jail women

By WITW Staff on October 3, 2016

Wearing black in mourning for the anticipated loss of reproductive rights, women across Poland have gone on strike to protest a new law that would ban abortion. Many men joined them in “Black Monday” demonstrations on the streets of Warsaw, Gdansk and elsewhere. Pro-choice activists encouraged women to take the day off work and domestic tasks, and gather for meetings or demonstrations, to donate blood or do charity work. The action was inspired by a strike more than four decades ago by the women of Iceland, when 90 percent of women refused to work, cook, or mind their children for a day in October 1975.

The predominantly Catholic country already has some of the strictest prohibitions in Europe against termination of pregnancy — permitted only where there is a grave threat to the mother’s health, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. The new law would criminalize all abortions, with women punishable for up to five years in prison. Assisting doctors would also be liable for prosecution and jail time. It is anticipated that women who miscarry would also come under increased scrutiny.

The proposals were drafted by hardline conservative advocates, Ordo Iuris, and a petition signed by more than 100,000 people subsequently submitted to parliament for consideration by the Stop Abortion coalition.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


Polish women tweet their period pain in protest of PM’s support of abortion ban

Thousands in Poland rally against anti-abortion bill

Women’s rights groups to deliver abortion drugs to Poland by drone