Fri Jan 29th, 2021 at 05:44:25 AM EST
Back in October, Poland's constitutional tribunal (stacked by the ruling "Law and Justice" party) banned abortion. After huge public protests, the ban was not implemented. But now, at the height of the pandemic, they've decided to bring it into force:
Although the ruling was handed down by Poland's constitutional tribunal in October and should have come into force swiftly, there was a three-month delay, apparently prompted by fears over the size of the protests that ensued. More than 400,000 people came out to protest in towns and cities across the country, leading some government figures to suggest a compromise was required.
Ultra-conservative elements of Poland's ruling coalition have long sought to tighten abortion laws further, even though polls show there is minimal support in Polish society at large for the move. Past attempts to change the law led to huge protests, leading to parliament stepping away from the move.
Instead, the law has been changed through the constitutional tribunal, which is mainly made up of those appointed by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and has become politicised during the party's five years in power. On Wednesday, the tribunal issued a justification of its ruling, and the government later published the ruling, the formal requirements for the law to enter into force.
There have already been small protests. The question is whether there will be the massive ones seen in October (and in response to previous Law and Justice misogyny). If not, the next elections aren't until 2023, which is a long time to wait to fix this.