The following is a reprint from our Polish member organisation, Federation for Women and Family Planning. For the full article, including the list of the call’s signatories, go to Federa’s website.
Polish Parliament is about to discuss introducing further restrictions in the extreme anti-abortion law – read more in our previous entry.
The Federation for Women and Family Planning followed by women’s rights organizations of the Great Coalition for Equality and Choice addressed a strong call to the members of Polish Parliament, in which they demand the restoration of freedom to decide about their body, pregnancy and the future of the family.
Read it below:
To the Members of the Polish Parliament, all political parties!
Today, on World Safe Abortion Day, the Federation for Women and Family Planning reminds you that your duty is to make laws that serve all individuals, regardless of your personal views.
All of you, members of Parliament are responsible for making laws in the field of health protection and public safety, which ensure healthy development and wellbeing of every person. You must not neglect these responsibilities for your own convenience, opportunism or for personal reasons. By taking up the mandate, you become our representatives and this means that you have to make decisions FOR US, not INSTEAD OF US. Your worldviews or beliefs do not count here, you are in service of general public. The good of us all requires from you to respect diversity of all views and lifestyles, and to respect the autonomy and private life of every person and every family.
It is not up to you to judge if and how many children, women and families will have.
It is not up to you to decide when a woman should continue or terminate HER pregnancy. You don’t know her feelings, needs, experiences, emotions. You don’t know what’s best for her. You do not live the consequences of the situation in which she finds herself.
Your responsibility is to ensure that the laws you adopt provide us all with fair, empathetic and appropriate health care thanks to which everyone would feel safe. And this duty is on you, regardless of whether an individual decides to give birth to several children, to treat infertility, to postpone parenting or to terminate the pregnancy. We all deserve adequate protection in a democratic state.
The law serves to provide all citizens with a safe space for making our own decisions relating to our private lives, without the interference of the State. When State interferes with our intimate spheres, it becomes violence. The law is there to protect women here and now, women we know, whose needs are real, not abstract.
This is why we expect from you today to give us back what you have taken away for political interests in 1993. Give us back freedom to decide about our body, pregnancy and the future of our families.
We want access to legal, safe, free abortion without anyone asking us why. We need access to modern contraception, high-quality gynecological care and comprehensive sexuality education.
We demand the immediate adoption of the rescue draft bill on decriminalization of abortion (drafted by MP Magda Biejat). We also ask you to support the draft bill on access to safe abortion and other reproductive rights (prepared by the Committee of the civic initiative “Legal Abortion Without Compromise”).
Rescue bill draft (in Polish)
„Legal Abortion Without Compromise” draft bill (in Polish)