Fri, Jun 21, 2024

Polish women working in European Union institutions went on strike to demonstrate against Polish proposals for a total ban on abortions. Photocredit: Wiktor Dąbkowski/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock


University Women of Europe is concerned about all the regressions encountered regarding women.

Many women have to brave the Covid to go and demonstrate in support of their challenged rights as in Poland. The Constitutional Court of this CoE member state, whose composition has been criticised by many Poles and by the CoE, has just issued a decision dated 22 October 2020 prohibiting any recourse to the termination of pregnancy even in the case of serious foetal malformation. It follows the law of 16 July 2020 adopted by the Lower House of the Polish Parliament on the medical professions, which reinforces conscientious objection in this matter, seriously limiting “the possibility for women and girls to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and health” says the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

On 22 October 2020, 32 countries decided to formalise their opposition to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy contrary to numerous international commitments. Poland and Hungary are signatories of the appeal in Europe, along with many countries such as Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Sudan, Iraq, the United States, etc.

UWE agrees with the concerns of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and recalls that there can be no restrictions on abortion, all women must have access to services that are competent on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Penalising abortion does not reduce the number of abortions, but these acts will take place in conditions that endanger the woman’s life. Also, the most modest women will be the most affected, since others will be able to go to other countries to have an abortion.

There is insufficient research to enable easy, sustainable contraception for both men and women, which would be a solution.

Women’s human rights must be protected.

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