The Left in the European Parliament has expressed its deepest solidarity with the mass protests in Poland, and denounces the recent high court ruling that all but bans abortions in the country.
This decision marks the latest in a spate of attacks spearheaded by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party against women, LGBTQ+ and minorities in the country.
Protests have continued for eight days across the country, with a mass rally expected tonight in Warsaw and other cities. There are, however, fears of violence and intimidation against protesters after incitement from the country’s top politician and the far-right leader of PiS, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Prior to this latest rowback on Polish women’s fundamental rights, the PiS-led government had announced Poland’s intention to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention to prevent violence against women, whilst several municipalities across the country have become self-declared “LGBT-free zones”.
Reacting to the latest situation, MEP Sandra Pereira (PCP, Portugal) has declared her unwavering support for the protests:
“We express solidarity with the Polish women and people who took to the streets to fight for the right to safe and legal abortion, and rejecting the brutal setback to women’s sexual and reproductive health rights in Poland.
“This regression is not unrelated to the broader attacks against labour and social rights in which the EU also has a share of responsibility.”
On the issue of judicial interference by the far-right government, Malin Björk (Vänsterpartiet, Sweden) is calling for an immediate reversal of the ban:
“The Constitutional Court is not independent and is controlled by the Polish ruling party, and hence this total ban on abortion is an illegitimate ruling.
“In these crucial times, we stand in solidarity with all Polish women who are fighting for the right to safe and legal abortions. The right to decide over our bodies is a fundamental right in every country, and we will not be silenced,” Björk concluded.