Poland already has an extremely restrictive abortion policy, which means that a recent proposal for a total ban on all abortion exceptions was met with huge resistance by constituents. After massive protests on Monday, parliamentary leaders started to walk back their positions on the proposed ban, and on Thursday they officially rejected it via majority vote.
On Wednesday, Senate speaker Stanislaw Karczewski said the upper house of parliament would not move forward on the bill that would make abortions for cases of incest, rape, extreme damage to the fetus, or situations where the mother’s life is at risk illegal.
Debates were scheduled for the more powerful lower house, which is largely controlled by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party. AFP reports that their leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, opened with the confirmation that the party would always support “the right to life,” but added that the ban was “not going about it in the best way.”
In late September, that same party pushed ahead on the bill, which would not only have banned abortions, but would have increased the maximum jail time for abortion providers from two to five years. The 450 members of the lower house voted today 352 to 58 to reject the bill, with 18 abstaining.