Yesterday Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Polish parliament had decided to continue the process of preparing a controversial abortion law. Poland, a Catholic country, already has the strictest abortion laws in Europe. The current law states that abortion is only legal in the following cases:
- When the woman's life or health is endangered by the continuation of pregnancy,
- When the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act, or
- When the fetus is seriously malformed
The new law, if and when it comes into effect, stipulates that abortion will be illegal under all circumstances.
As a woman, my first instinct was to find a man (any man would do) and hit him over the head. (very constructive, I know – but this must be a man’s idea!). In my opinion, there is nobody who has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. I doubt that the process that eventually leads to the conclusion that abortion is the best option would be easy for anyone – it’s probably a long, complicated and ethically/morally exhausting process for any woman. Just imagine what it would feel like for a woman whose pregnancy is the result of a rape, or a woman who knows that her child can never live a good life.
There are also two strong arguments that speak against this law. Firstly, a majority of Poles support abortion. Secondly, according to some sources there are 180,000 illegal abortions carried out in Poland every year. This tells us that the ideas of some politicians do not represent reality very well.