Polish opposition promises abortion referendum if they win election


Central Europe


Polish women protesting against the abortion ban in Warsaw. After Poland tightened its abortion legislation in 2020, protestors took to the streets en masse. According to several polls, the majority of the Polish population finds the abortion laws too strict. Photo EPA, Leszek Szymanski

Two Polish opposition parties, the left-wing Polska 2050 and the agrarian Polish People's Party (PSL), have promised to organise a referendum on Poland's abortion law if they win the next elections in autumn.

The two parties are likely to be part of the coalition if the opposition sees a chance to defeat the ruling parties, Notes from Poland writes.


Polska 2050 leader Szymon Holownia and PSL leader Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz presented a list of six policies they would like to introduce when they would receive power after the upcoming elections. Within 100 days after the elections, they would want to hold a referendum in which the Polish population can decide what kind of abortion law they want.

Holownia called the current abortion law a "scandalous decision" and added that the Polish people should decide on the issue, not politicians or bishops. According to the politician, it would be harder for the Polish President, Andrzej Duda, who usually supports the conservative PiS ruling party, to veto a new abortion law if the Polish people spoke out in favour of it in a referendum.

Criminal act

Notes from Poland points out that several opinion polls have shown that a great majority of the Polish population finds the current abortion legislation too strict. Right now, abortion is only allowed if the pregnancy results from a criminal act, endangers the mother's life or if the unborn baby has a severe birth defect.

At the same time, they seem to be very divided on what kind of law they would want instead. Some surveys show that about 43 per cent wants to return to the abortion law as it was before it was changed in 2020. However, other research showed last November that 70 per cent wants the abortion law to be even more liberal than that.


However, the idea of a referendum is not supported by all opposition parties. Politicians from the leftist Lewica Party have already spoken out against it, even though they are in favour of liberalising the abortion laws.



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