You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Poland delays implementing tightened abortion ruling amid protests

Poland's right-wing government is delaying the publication and implementation of a high court ruling that tightens the abortion law and that has triggered almost two weeks of nationwide protests

Poland | Abortion

AP  |  Warsaw 

Poland's right-wing government is delaying the publication and implementation of a high court ruling that tightens the law and that has triggered almost two weeks of nationwide protests.

A government official said Tuesday that the leaders are taking time to debate the contested ruling and find a solution.

There is a discussion going on, and it would be good to take some time for dialogue and for finding a new position in this situation that is difficult and stirs high emotions, said Michal Dworczyk, the head of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's office.

The constitutional court ruled Oct. 22 that aborting fetuses with congenital defects violates the constitution, in effect further tightening what was already one of Europe's most restrictive laws.

It would leave only abortions in cases of risk to the woman's life or crime meaning rape or incest allowed under Polish law.

The ruling was scheduled to be formally published on Monday. Unpublished, it has no legal power.

Massive daily anti-government protests have been held by hundreds of thousands of people ever since the ruling. The mostly young protesters have been disregarding the pandemic threat and a ban on public gatherings larger that five people intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Morawiecki has appealed for talks with the protesters and opposition lawmakers to find a solution.

With roiled by the attempt to further restrict abortion, surveys show a large drop in support for the ruling conservative Law ad Justice party and for its leader, deputy prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Meanwhile, President Andrzej Duda, who is aligned with the government, has proposed a new law that would allow of fetuses with life-threatening defects but ban them for disorders such as Down syndrome. But this idea is seen as still too restrictive to many people and does not seem likely to win sufficient backing in parliament.

Women's rights activist are critical of Duda's proposal and Morawiecki's invitation for talks, and are planning more protests this week.

Experts on constitutional law say that delaying the publication of the ruling would be wrong because it would violate a legal provision that constitutional court rulings be published without delay.

This is by far the worst option, said Marcin Matczak, a law professor at Warsaw University. It boils down to this approach that if someone does not like a ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal, he may not publish it." The rulings are published by the government in the Journal of Laws.

Soon after Law and Justice won power in 2015 and took steps to control the constitutional court, the government delayed publication of some of the court's rulings, even by two years, and bowed only when pressured by the European Union leaders.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, November 03 2020. 19:39 IST