Federation for Women and Family Planning

Organisation: Federation for Women and Family Planning (www.federa.org.pl) – Polish ASTRA member serving as ASTRA Secretariat on September 28 Actions

Background:

The anti-choice civic bill which aims to ban all abortions in case of fetal malformation will be the subject of first reading in the Polish Parliament on 25th of September. The civic bill collected over 400 000 signatures of support and was proposed by the “Stop Abortion” initiative. Two years ago the bill banning abortion in all cases was passed in the first reading and was only rejected in the second with a small majority of votes. The restrictive law has many supporters in the conservative wing of the ruling party, the Civic Platform.

The current law allows abortion in three cases only; in case of rape/incest, in case of a threat to the woman’s health and in cases of fetal malformation. According to official numbers from the Ministry of Health there were 669 abortions and none resulting from rape or any other crime in year 2011. This figure, in a country of over 38 million inhabitants, illustrates how difficult it is to access a legal abortion in practice. The Polish Government constantly ignores the harmful effects of current legislation.

Event description:

Federation is organizing a press conference on the 24 Sept during which the Sept 28 Global Day of Action for Safe and Legal Abortion and the International Campaign will be mentioned. Federation will also send open letters to Polish Parliamentarians and participate in a short training for left-wing parties in order to provide those MPs with pro-choice arguments.

The feminist and pro-choice movement and allies are organizing a meeting this week in Warsaw to discuss our strategy in regards to this reading and also plan a public gathering and demonstration in front of the Polish Sejm on the day of the reading. Additionally, activists are going to reach out to politicians directly, presenting arguments for maintaining the present legislaton. We plan to bring banners, including those with September 28 slogans and logos.

ASTRA will draft a letter of support for Polish pro-choice activists and organizations and send it out to the international SRHR community for support.