Once again, thousands of protesters in Poland have taken to the streets to protest the curtailment of the abortion law. On the fifth day of protest, protesters blocked streets and squares in dozens of cities.
Demonstrators in cars, by bicycle or on foot occupy the main intersections in the capital Warsaw. As a result, cars and trams got stuck for quite some time. The demonstrators beat drums and set off fireworks.
Banners called on the conservative government to step down. People also wore lyrics such as ‘I wish I could abort my government’ and ‘I want choice, not terror’. In the city of Krakow, protesters chanted “it’s war”, something that has been shouted more often during demonstrations in recent days.
Since Thursday, there has been fierce protests against the Constitutional Court’s ruling that abortion is not allowed on the grounds of serious abnormalities in the fetus. Yesterday, church services were hindered and protesters sprayed graffiti on churches. On Friday, demonstrators stood at the home of Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling conservative PiS party. The police used tear gas, among other things.
Polish women, when the law comes into force, can only have an abortion if the pregnancy is life-threatening for the woman or if she has become pregnant through rape or incest. Polish women who wish to undergo an abortion are expected to move abroad even more often than before.
Critics accuse the judges of the court of listening to the government. In 2018, the Polish government previously tried to curtail the abortion law in the same way. Due to the massive protest against this, it was abandoned at the time.