WARSAW, Poland – A bill removing exceptions from the nation’s abortion laws and providing total protection for preborn children from the moment of conception is set for a parliamentary vote this week in Poland. The legislation is the result of a citizen-led initiative drive in which sponsors were required to collect 100,000 signatures over the course of three months. As reported by LifeSiteNews.com, the grassroots effort collected 600,000 signatures in just two weeks.
Currently, the Polish law allows for abortion in cases related to maternal health, if the pregnancy is the result of “illegal activity,” or if the preborn child is disabled. Polish abortionists have manipulated the exceptions to kill children with minor defects including cleft palates. Reports of fraud concerning fetal age are prevalent, and “illegal activity” is often misrepresented to include a wider range of criminal activity.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, a former assistant to Pope John Paul II, told Poland’s largest opinion weekly, Gosc Niedzielny, “The Church clearly teaches that it is the obligation of Catholics not to protect the current ‘compromise’ but to aim at complete protection of life. This is a solution, which the Church calls for.”
The Nazi invasion first brought decriminalized abortion to the predominately Catholic nation. Under Soviet rule, Communism accounted for a continuation of the anti-life policies. In 1993, finally free from their oppressors, Poland tightened abortion restrictions but did not institute a complete ban.
A survey conducted earlier this month demonstrates a shift in the population’s attitudes about abortion. The numbers could be attributed to differences in age demographics as the former regimes’ influence has faded and younger generations have been raised without the prejudices. 65% of Poles agree that the law “should unconditionally protect the life of all children since conception,” and 76% of those aged 15 to 24 favor total protection. While still a majority, the numbers are lower for those aged 55 to 70 at 57%.
Personhood USA, which provides support in establishing similar citizen initiative campaigns to recognize the rights of every human person from the moment of fertilization, is cheering the advances. “Across the globe, God is moving in the hearts of so many to protect the preborn. America could stand to learn something from Poland, Hungary, Mexico and so many more nations protecting all human life,” said co-founder, Keith Mason. “The people of Poland are right—every person should enjoy the full protections of the law.”