Polish Parliament to Consider Petition to Ban Abortion
Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Polish parliament will have a first reading this week on a proposal to institute an all-out ban on abortion.  The vote will determine if the measure will advance to the parliamentary commission which determines the future of the legislation. The pending bill is the result of a grassroots initiative in which citizens collected 600,000 signatures in two weeks supporting the ban, well over the required 100,000 signatures in three months. The campaign, which was supported by the nation's bishops and new pro-life parliamentary committee, was kept discreet to avoid media attention and pressure from abortion advocates. Specifically, the legislation would protect the right to life from the moment of conception in all circumstances by removing all exceptions from the nation's abortion laws. The law currently permits abortion for matters dealing with maternal health, rape and incest and fetal disability, which has been interpreted to include treatable issues such as cleft palate. The measure is most likely to be referred to a commission prior to the October election.