Thousands of demonstrators blocked the center of several towns in Poland on Monday, the fifth day of a revolt against an almost total ban on abortion.
In Warsaw, protesters, mostly young women, holding up placards with slogans such as ‘Women’s Hell’, ‘You have blood on your hands’, ‘We want to have a choice’ or ‘C’ is war! Have blocked several crossings in the city center, paralyzing traffic.
Similar protests have also taken place in several other cities in reaction to the Polish Constitutional Court’s decision on Thursday to ban voluntary termination of pregnancy (abortion) in cases of serious fetal malformation, as it would be “incompatible” with the constitution.
The judgment, in accordance with the wishes of the ruling ultracatholic nationalist party, Droit et Justice (PiS), restricts the right to abortion to only cases of danger to death for the pregnant woman and pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
The major argument of opponents of the judgment is that this virtual ban puts the lives of women in danger by forcing them to carry to term non-viable pregnancies, while its supporters claim that it will prevent the abortion of fetuses diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. 21.
There are fewer than 2,000 legal abortions per year in Poland – and the vast majority of them are performed because of malformed fetuses.
But feminist groups estimate that more than 200,000 procedures are carried out illegally or carried out abroad each year.
This judgment was condemned by several human rights groups in Europe.
On Sunday, demonstrators targeted Catholic churches across Poland, a first in this predominantly Catholic country, a member of the European Union.
Protests against the court’s ruling are expected to continue in the coming days, organizers said.