Polish opposition party says goodbye to pro-life candidates


Central Europe


Leader of Poland's Civic Platform (PO) party Donald Tusk speaks during the main opposition party Civic Platform policy convention in Warsaw, Poland, 19 March 2022. Photo EPA, Rafal Guz

Only people who support the introduction of abortion on demand as a human right will be able to get candidacy for the Civic Platform Party (PO) in Poland. That was announced by the PO leader Donald Tusk.

The Civic Platform is Poland's leading opposition group. The political party has long been divided over abortion, Notes from Poland reports. Some members favour liberalising the near-total ban on abortion in Poland. In contrast, others support the relatively strict abortion law that was in place before the new legislation came into force.

However, recently, Tusk expressed his pro-choice stance explicitly at Campus Polska, which Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski organised. He stated that decisions on abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy "will be solely up to the woman" if his party comes to power.

He admitted that his party had been divided on the issue for a long time. However, he also promised to set a clear line: "People who think differently will not find themselves on PO's electoral lists for parliament."

It is not the first time that Tusk expressed his opinion on the abortion issue. Already in June, he confirmed that, if his party came to power, he would attempt to introduce a law that allowed abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy based on "a decision made by the woman in consultation with a doctor."

Tusk rejected the possibility of holding a referendum on the abortion law. He thinks that such a vote would be a "dangerous experiment." Opinion polls from May and June showed that more than 60 per cent of Polish citizens support liberalising the current abortion law.


Tusk's remarks have caused a stir in Polish politics. It might make it harder for him to create a united opposition coalition because it would have to include more conservative parties, Notes from Poland writes. Milosz Motyka, spokesman for the Polish People's Party (PSL), a centre-right party, said that Tusk's remarks have "ruled out a joint list" for the elections. However, PO politician Radoslaw later nuanced Tusk's statement, saying that the rule would not apply to other parties that wanted to ally themselves with the PO.

The national-conservative ruling party (PiS) has used Tusk's statements to attack him. Janusz Kowalski, an MP of the ruling party, argues that if Poles vote for the PO, they will hand over Poland's sovereignty in the EU to Brussels and Berlin. Furthermore, he wrote on Twitter that that vote "will also be a battle over whether unborn children can be killed in Poland and whether homosexuals will get the right to adopt."

Last year, the PiS introduced a near-total abortion ban. As a result, the number of abortions in Poland dropped by 90 per cent. Most opposition parties want to return to the previous abortion law or even liberalise the past legislation.



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