Reproductive rights

Polish lawmakers heed ‘Black Monday’ strike, vote to reject abortion ban

A girl waves a black flag as people take part in a nationwide strike and demonstration to protest against a legislative proposal for a total ban of abortion on October 3, 2016 in Warsaw. (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Two days after thousands of women took to the streets in cities throughout Poland in “Black Monday” protests against a proposed law that would ban abortion and imprison women caught undergoing one, lawmakers there voted to reject the bill on Wednesday. The outcome represented an about-face by Poland’s ruling party. The law will be voted on by the lower house of Parliament on Thursday, but all indications suggest that the proposed legislation will be dead on arrival in the lower house.

Poland already has some of the most onerous abortion laws in the world. Abortions are legal only in the cases of rape, incest and grave health threats to either the mother or fetus. The proposed law would have made abortion totally illegal in any and all cases, a specter that animated women throughout Poland to dress in black in anticipation of mourning the loss of reproductive rights and to go on strike for the day from their usual daily routines. Many men joined in the demonstrations as well.

Read the full story at NPR.


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