After massive protests, Polish leaders say they won’t further restrict abortion


After women in Poland went on strike and into the streets to protest—and after they gained much international support online and IRL—Polish lawmakers may not go through with proposed legislation that would basically ban abortion in the country. Minister of Science and Higher Education Jaroslaw Gowin even said the strikes “caused us to think and taught us humility.” It’s almost as if grassroots political action works!

Gowin said on Radio Kosazlin (which we translated via Google) that the government will “certainly not pass the total ban” and that women who are victims of rape, or whose lives are jeopardized by pregnancy, will still be able to get abortions. Senate Speaker Stanislaw Karczewski also said lawmakers would not initiate work on a more restrictive abortion bill.

The controversial legislation proposes to remove existing exceptions to abortion and to make it punishable by five years in prison. Today, a debate in the European Parliament will discuss women’s rights in Poland. 

Update Oct. 6, 11:52am CT: Parliament officially struck down the abortion law 352 to 48.

Jaya Saxena

Jaya Saxena

Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'