Last month, Poland's ultra-right government collaborated with the Catholic Church to progress an extreme abortion law that would have sent doctors who performed operations to save fetuses (or their mothers) to prison.
After a global day of protest, the government faced a humiliating climbdown, described as a "lesson in humility" by a government minister.
Now, Jarosław Kaczynski, leader of the ruling party PIS, has signalled that the law will come back, and will force women to deliver unviable fetuses so that they can be baptized before they are buried.
A legislative proposal from "Voice for Life" (a rabid anti-Choice group) with 160,000 signatures is headed to Parliamentary debate: it would impose longer prison sentences on doctors who perform abortions for women whose lives were not in "immediate danger." It would ban emergency contraception (which acts eggs that have not be fertilized), and declare that life begins at conception. It would require Polish schools to teach these untrue things as facts, and to propagandize against abortion in all cases.
Meanwhile, the Facebook groups “Dziewuchy Dziewuchom” (Gals for Gals) and “Ogólnopolski strajk kobiet” (Poland-Wide Women's Strike) became the coordination points for the new solidarity movement filled with discussions, news, plans and moral support. The movement has widened its focus to include the fight against contempt and violence towards women, influence of the Catholic Church in politics, and political influence in the education system.
After the plans of the ruling party became clear and the “Voice for Life” petition landed in the Parliament, the groups have been flooded by posts of women outraged at the proposal and ready to march into the streets again chanting “My body, my choice.”
The “Poland-Wide Women's Strike – Round Two” is planned for October 24, with several thousand people on the Facebook event confirming they plan to attend.
New Abortion Ban Proposals in Poland Mean the ‘Black Protest’ Movement Isn't Over Yet [Kasia Odrozek/Global Voices]