Polish women on strike

Mel Gosia Bulhak writes about a planned demonstration in support of Polish women.

I am a Polish national living in the West Midlands. As you may be aware, on Thursday 22nd October Poland’s top court ruled that abortions in cases of foetal defects are unconstitutional. Poland’s abortion laws were already among the strictest in Europe, but the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling will mean an almost total ban.

Once the decision comes into effect, terminations will only be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother’s health is at risk. Abortions in cases of severe foetal disabilities account for 98% of all terminations carried out in Poland, therefore, this restriction effectively bans pregnancy terminations.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting across Poland every day since Thursday. The police have been using tear gas on the protesters. People, including myself, are devastated at this news. The Polish government is becoming increasingly authoritative and people fear for their rights.

Demonstrations are now planned in major cities across Europe this Sunday 1st November. There is one organised by myself and a few others in Victoria Square between 3pm-5pm. We are protesting in support of our sisters back home but also we wish to have our voices heard and make a stand to our government – that our bodies are our choice. We will not give our rights away. We will not stand passive and watch when our freedom of choice is taken away.

Join us in the protest of solidarity and their rights. Sunday 1st November, Victoria Square, Birmingham, 3pm-5pm.

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