Polish opposition leader promises to allow abortion


Central Europe


Demonstrators protest with banners and against tightening Poland's already restrictive abortion law in Warsaw. Photo AFP, Janek Skarzynski

If he wins the election, he will lead Poland in a "march towards modernity and tolerance." That is the promise of the Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk.

This march will include liberalising the strict and controversial abortion laws, Notes from Poland reports. Tusk promises to work on a bill that legalises abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. "This would be a decision made by the woman in consultation with a doctor, not the decision of a priest, prosecutor or political activist", Tusk said during a meeting in Wałbrzych. "We will guarantee that, 100 per cent."

Last year, the Polish government introduced one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. Currently, abortion is only allowed if a woman's health is at risk, if the pregnancy results from rape or if severe birth defects were diagnosed in the foetus.

Adoption by same-sex couples is not easy to realise

In addition, Donald Tusk promised to look at ways to improve the rights of LGBT people. He wants to introduce same-sex civil partnerships, for instance. Earlier, he promised this would be one of his first decisions if he came to power.

Furthermore, Tusk wants to liberalise transgender laws. According to him, the procedures for gender reassignment need to be reconsidered carefully because currently, "they can be devastating for the psyche" of those who go through them.

Adoption by same-sex couples should also be possible, Tusk finds. However, he admitted that this was not easy to introduce in Poland.

According to Notes from Poland, opinion polls show growing support for more liberal laws on the issues mentioned above. Most Poles want to abolish the new abortion law, for example. Also, support for same-sex partnerships has grown. Last year, 36 per cent of the population supported this type of union, while in 2019, that was only 30 per cent.

Low ranking on list of respect for human rights

Poland is the country that ranks lowest in Europe in respecting LGBT rights. That is reported by Notes from Poland based on the latest "Rainbow Europe" ranking. The ranking considers LGBT people's legal situation and the prevailing social climate in a country, Notes from Poland writes.

In total, Poland scores 13 per cent in the category of "respect for human rights." That is the lowest of all European countries.

According to ILGA-Europe, a defender of LGBT rights and the driving force behind the ranking list, the Polish "hate campaign against the LGBT community" has continued. President Duda called the LGBT ideology "evil" and promised to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting a child. In addition, the Polish education minister said that "LGBT people are not equal to normal people" and compared LGBT ideology to Nazism.

The Polish ruling party argued that it does not oppose LGBT people but their ideology. It sees it as a dangerous set of ideas from the West that threatens Polish culture.



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