Poland Rejects Abortion Ban

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Oct 06, 2016 2:55 PM
Poland Rejects Abortion Ban

The Polish parliament has rejected a total ban on abortion following protests and a country-wide strike by women. Parliament voted 352 to 58 against a bill that would have tightened the country's already-strict abortion laws.

In Poland, a woman can only abort a pregnancy if the pregnancy is the product of rape or incest, if there's a severe risk to the mother's health, or if the fetus is deformed. The new law would have prohibited abortions in cases of rape or incest. The bill also would have punished women who receive abortions.

Poland already has among the tightest abortion laws in Europe, and the proposal sought to ban all abortions unless the mother's life was at risk.

MPs voted to reject the bill by 352 votes to 58.

The bill came from an anti-abortion citizens' initiative that gathered some 450,000 signatures. It was initially backed by the Catholic Church, but bishops then said they could not support one of the proposals, to jail women who had an abortion.

The bill would have had a rough time passing regardless, as even the Catholic Church in Poland was against the bill due to how women would be punished for having abortions.