Safe Abortion Day | 28.9.2020
Appeal by Hanna Grześkiewicz
Here we are again.
Almost four years to the day since the first time Polish women* took to the streets to protest an outright abortion ban, we are standing here to tell you that very little has changed.
In just under four weeks, on 22 October, the Polish constitutional tribunal will vote on whether to effectively ban abortion. They are voting on whether to ban so-called ‘eugenic abortion’ – a clever rhetorical term that has been coined to ban abortion on the grounds of irreversible foetal deformities or terminal illness. In 2019, out of the only 1,100 legal abortions that took place in Poland, 1,074 were on the grounds of this exception.
So in four weeks, abortion will be banned in Poland. We are almost sure of this, as the highly politicised constitutional tribunal is very much on the side of the ruling party, PiS.
This is a crisis. And we are tired, angry and frustrated that we are here, yet again, having to tell you this. We are also scared of the consequences.
And this is a crisis on top of all the other attacks on our reproductive rights and sexual self-determination. The past two years have seen a rise in hatred and abuse targeted at the LGBT community in Poland. The LGBT and Pro-Choice movements are inseparable: we are all working for the right to live our lives with dignity and the right to choose – without government intrusion.
So we are also standing here to tell you that we will keep fighting.
We, and by we I mean all the people with the ability to become pregnant – be that cisgender women, transgender men, intersex and gender non-confirming people – demand the right to safe, free and legal abortion. We demand a choice. And we refuse to accept this state of affairs.
But we need your help. The protests in 2016, 2018 and in April this year all stopped PiS in its tracks, largely because the huge protests were reported on around the world. This new attempt also needs international attention as otherwise it will go through – mass protests and international pressure are the best tools we have against the PiS government.
In is now more important than ever that the LGBT and Pro-Choice movements build a strong, inclusive coalition to achieve the right to choose and live with dignity for all. Support and join our fight!