The Guardian: Polish government signals U-turn on total abortion ban

(The Guardian) – A proposed total abortion ban in Poland will not be implemented, a member of the government has said, describing mass protests against the ban as a lesson in humility for the country’s leadership.

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Jarosław Gowin, the minister of science and higher education, said on Wednesday that the protests by women had “caused us to think and taught us humility”.



The comments appear to indicate that Poland’s conservative leadership will withhold support from the highly unpopular proposal to ban abortions even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk.

The rightwing government, led by the Law and Justice party, has been under international pressure not to move forward with the plan, with a debate scheduled for Wednesday in the European parliament on the situation of women in Poland.

Poland already outlaws abortions, with exceptions made only for rape, incest, badly damaged foetuses or if the mother’s life is at risk. In practice, though, some doctors refuse to perform even legal abortions, citing moral objections.

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