Poland already has one of most restrictive set of abortion rules in Europe, but the country's legislature is trying to make it even harder for women to get an abortion. The BBC reports on this, as follows:
If the law - which has cleared one parliamentary hurdle so far - goes through it will make Poland's abortion laws as restrictive as those in two other countries in Europe: Malta and the Vatican.
Women found to have had abortions would be punished with a five-year prison term. Doctors found to have assisted in an abortion would also be liable for jail time.
The Catholic Church appears to be the primary pusher of this legislation, but women have taken to the streets to protest--most to protest against the proposed legislation, but some to protest the protesters.
Abortion is already banned in most circumstances in Poland. The current exceptions are:
* where the woman's life is in dangerSo, the new law would take away those exceptions. These are the kind of issues that have cropped up regularly in the United States and so it was not surprising that abortion was on the table, so to speak, at tonight's vice-presidential debate between Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. Although Catholic and personally opposed to abortion, Kaine argued that women need to be able to make the decision about an abortion which, after all, is legal in the U.S. Pence thought otherwise. It still astounds me that men really think they should make reproductive decisions for women. We still have a long way to go.
* where there is a risk of serious and irreversible damage to the fetus
* where the pregnancy is as a result of rape or incest - this must be confirmed by a prosecutor
UPDATE: The protests did, in fact, cause Poland's legislature to rethink this legislation and it was voted down.