Pro-abortion activists have defied lockdown in Poland to protest against a Bill aiming to protect the unborn from being aborted on the grounds of disability.
Under Polish law, abortion is already permitted if the mother’s life is at risk, in cases of rape or incest and if the child has a disability, which can include Down’s syndrome.
Despite the ban on public gatherings, abortion activists took to the streets holding placards while standing approximately 2 metres apart.
The Bill began as a citizens’ initiative supported by over 830,000 Polish residents. Poland’s parliament is required to consider a petition for legislation if it is signed by more than 100,000 people within six months of its formation.
Lawmakers voted on Thursday to send the draft law to two committees for further discussion. There was no decision on whether it would be reintroduced for a final vote at a later time.
But President Andrzej Duda recently indicated that he supported the legislation, saying: “I believe that killing children with disabilities is simply murder. If a project opposing this issue will find itself on my desk, I will certainly sign it.”
Approximately 98 per cent of the country’s abortions are currently made on the grounds of disability.
Poland’s parliament is also considering another citizens’ initiative banning “the promotion of underage sex”.
The Bill would introduce a maximum three-year prison sentence for anyone who encourages those under 18 years old to have sex.
The legislation was borne out of concerns about school sex education lessons.