Problems of sexual ethics, the liability of partners, and so on, are issues of fundamental importance no one denies. The matter comes down not to renouncing offspring in general, but to giving birth to children when they are most desired and expected. A new human life could arise in the best possible physical and mental conditions, on the part of parents and in the best possible material conditions, in the fullest compliance with the parents' broader life plans. This is what the concept of conscious parenthood includes. Practice shows that if a woman is determined to undergo the abortion procedure, it will most often be performed anyway, legally or illegally. Only that in the latter case it will be accomplished, in terrible conditions, which may lead to catastrophic consequences.
Protests against law to tighten the abortion legislation will definitely go down in the history of the Polish Women's Rights Movement. Massive demonstrations (over 10 thousands people just on the streets of Warsaw) and social media campaigns showed just how pissed off the girls are who can't decide their rights. The ´Dziewuchy Dziewuchom´ group, which today, has over 200,000 followers made a huge contribution to building this resistance movement. As well as a Polish Radio, television journalist and columnist Karolina Piotrowska ,as one of the first one to share a post on her Instagram:
´The Polish government does not boast of its newest achievements to citizens. It is worth knowing, however, from October 22, just when the Constitutional Tribunal issued a judgment on abortion on embryopathological grounds, representatives of the authorities expelled a new international document at a virtual meeting: the Genova Declaration of Consensus for Women's Health and Strengthening the Family. The declarations have been signed so far by 32 countries, including Poland as the only EU member state, next to Hungary.´
Among the signatories in Europe there is still only Belarus (the Russian Federation is not on the list, although it is active in another International Body of Conservatives: The World Family Congress). What is not surprising, however, is a regularity: most of the signatories rank lower than 20 in the Georgetown University Women's Peace and Security Index. These are the countries where to be a woman is the worst in the world.
You surely remember the previous big campaign "I support the Girls" from 2016 , in which so many of us got involved thanks to the support of Anja Rubik, Alex Chung, Juliette Binoche, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Milla Jovovich and Rita Ora. Then our Facebook and Instagram accounts were flooded with photos of women dressed in black and men for whom tightening abortion would take away the freedom of girls' right to decide about themselves.
The point is that, no woman decides to have an abortion because she likes it and for each of them making such a decision is a dramatic choice. One would say, every woman has the right to make her own decisions and no politician should do it for them. I´m Polish nationality, 10 years ago I had an abortion. I´m so grateful that at this stage I lived in the UK and of course had access to medical and psychological assistance prior and post-stage.
I remember this day as through a cloud. At the office, the receptionist mistook my upset behaviour ( I was crying) as a sign of doubt. One look around the waiting room confirmed it wasn´t an innocent mistake. We were right at home of underage, young and mostly non--white women. We were fragile and bloated, waiting shakily for our turn. The sight of pregnant women was making me ill. I still remember The way the pain sat in my stomach and climbed its way up to the chest in waves. From the waiting room, I was sent out to speak to the psychologist. Trust me, a trip to an abortion clinic leaves you either cold, and you decide to have the child or reconfirmed that the decision of aborting is the best possible in your current situation. One thing for certain just like a labour, it´s unforgettable. I´m a woman that undertook abortion and years later gave a birth to perfectly healthy child, with a partner I love. But of course there was few obstacles. Some of these included my christian guilt. Not like I´m a big church goer but I believe in God. So how I was going to handle abortion ?
The Catholic Church in Ireland and Poland cultivates silence about the problem of abortion. It is estimated that 12 women a day travel to the UK to have an abortion, but the Irish government is trying to sweep the figures under the carpet. The history of the church is one of the most hidden, concealed and mysterious. However, keep in mind that this is also the case strategy perceptible in the teaching of the Catholic Church itself, using arguments provided by science, i.e. ultrasound technology "commanding, when does human life begin¨. Use of this type rhetoric allows us to switch to a strategy typical of opponents of abortion, i.e. defining abortion by "killing unborn children".
In response to that, we´re brining the latest and most relavant post from the Facebook account of Dziewuchy Dziewuchom, Girls for Girls:
The question of "the beginning of life" is irrelevant to the question of abortion. Regardless of what moment we consider the creation of <man>, it will be a conventional and imaginary limit. The facts will remain unchanged - a pregnant person is undoubtedly a human being and the owner of his own body. Its right is inalienable and cannot be conditioned by someone else's fantasies, beliefs and interpretations. Pregnancy does not make you a hostage to someone else's survival - it is a state of a body that is entirely yours and yours alone.
Official data from show that in 2019 1,100 abortion procedures were performed in Polish hospitals. Including 1074 for embryopathological - abnormal embryos - reasons.
This means that 98 %. Termination of pregnancy, i.e. the vast majority of abortions in Poland, is performed in connection with the identification of severe and irreversible fetal defects. It is estimated that about 100,000 abortions are performed in Poland annually, of which only 1,000 are legal procedures performed for one of the three reasons permitted by law.
Since Europe is liberal, over a dozen percent of women who want to terminate their pregnancies decide to have a legal abortion in specialized clinics abroad. The most common destinations are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania.
Must Read to realise the extend if the issue is, On Abortion by Laia Abril. A long-term project ´A History of Misogyny´ is visual research undertaken through historical and contemporary comparisons. Her collection of visual, audio and textual evidence weaves a net of questions about ethics and morality and reveals a staggering series of social triggers, stigmas, and taboos around abortion that have long remained invisible
Due to mass protests, at the end of October, President Andrzej Duda proposed an amendment allowing abortion due to lethal defects, i.e. fatal developmental defects that do not give the child a chance for recovery or survival. For example, Down syndrome would not be considered a lethal defect, but many experts do not agree with this definition of the disease, explaining that 20 percent children with trisomy 21 die before delivery.
It´s not about right or wrong decision but more than anything having access to medical help.
We hope that our voice will be heard widely and will encourage others to participate in the open discussion. Women's rights apply to all of us!
Some interesting facts :
World Bank income group, rates of unintended pregnancy were higher in countries with restrictive abortion laws and the high-income countries where abortion is broadly legal had the lowest annual average rate of unintended pregnancy at 30 pregnancies per 1000 women aged between 15 and 49 years. The highest rate was 101 unintended pregnancies (94–110) per 1000 women aged between 15–49 years in low-income countries with restrictive abortion laws.
The substantial decline in the rate of unintended pregnancies is noteworthy because increased availability of contraception and access to family planning services cannot guarantee a decline in unintended pregnancies. Although family planning programmes have led to an increase in the prevalence of contraceptive use, changes in fertility preferences, as well as the shift from permanent methods, could both lead to increased rates of unintended pregnancy.
The biological fertility of the nation from the means and methods of pregnancy does not negatively affect the birth rate. The means of pregnancy protection are known to everyone and available to everyone, the use of birth regulation is common and yet the birth rate is very high.
Text by: Marta Marszalek