On Friday, the lower house of Poland’s parliament voted 254-151 to support a new bill seeking to ban abortion in all cases.  The bill was initiated by a massive grassroots effort that secured 600,000 signatures in two weeks.


MP (Mr) Czesław Hoc, Law and Justice party:
‘The current abortion law allows for abortion in three cases. This is not a success, nor a compromise, it is cruel helplessness and a defeat of the values of the contemporary civilization.’

MP (Mr) Wojciech Kossakowski, Law and Justice party:
‘I cannot understand what motivates parliamentarians and all others who agree to the modern day slaughter of the innocents. In 2009 over 500 children were killed in Polish hospitals. How monstrously egotistical, devoid of the smallest drop of humanity, you have to be to agree to murder under the auspices of law. It’s not about belonging to any party, religion or anything else. It’s about being human. Nobody has the right to decide on the life or death and if somebody thinks they do, then they don’t represent civilized society, but only their own subjective instinct of a person isolated from any morals or social ethics.’

MP (Ms) Jolanta Szczypinska (in 2007 opposed a pro-life amendment to the Constitution)
‘500 children who were murdered is more than the number of people in this room. This is a lot. These 500 children are on our consciences. I think the time has come to give witness.’

MP (Mr) Jerzy Rębek, Law and Justice party:
‘If we don’t pass this bill, this will be a tragedy for the nation. Dear Parliamentarians, let us do something good. I am calling most of all on Catholic parliamentarians. Let us do something beautiful in our lives, let us vote for this bill. Maybe this will be the last good thing that we ever do. I am asking you to do it.’

MP (Mr) Jan Dziedziczak, Law and Justice party:
‘A disabled voter approached me to support this initiative. He argued that the current law considers the disabled and people conceived in rape as second category citizens. How else can we treat the disabled and the people conceived in rape living around us, if we think that at some stage in their life, they can be killed if this is more comfortable? Such laws discriminate against the disabled and discriminate against those conceived in rape. We have to change that as soon as possible.’

MP (Mr) Aleksander Chłopek, Law and Justice party:
‘Abortion of the unborn does not concern the ill child and the woman only, it concerns us all. A metaphysical poet described it in a beautiful and moving way: “No man is an island. Each man’s death diminishes me. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee.’”

MP (Ms) Teresa Wargocka, Law and Justice party:
‘We are at a breakthrough. This is a debate, a war, a battle between two visions of man, a battle for souls, for power over souls. We have to remember about this, we need to realize this.’

MP (Mr) Mikołaj Dera, Law and Justice party:
‘Does the Polish law allow for the killing of murderers? No, it does not. The murderer is protected, his life is protected. What parts of Polish law allow for unpunishable killing? Only three clauses of the abortion law.’

MP (Ms) Anna Paluch, Law and Justice party:
‘This is the most beautiful campaign of the civil society in years.’

MP (Mr) Mieczysław Golba, Law and Justice party:
‘I am convinced that this is the most important legislative proposal of this Parliamentary term.’

MP (Mr) Stefan Strzałkowski, Law and Justice party:
‘I would like to ask all parliamentarians, I would like you to beg you, to pass this law, of which I think we will be proud. That would be one of the most important moments in my life.’

On Personhood

MP (Mr) Bolesław Piecha (former health minister, abortion-performing doctor turned pro-lifer; Law and Justice Party):
‘Arguing for the sanctity of human life is very difficult, especially since some parliamentarians on the left side of this Chamber hold views close to those of professor Peter Singer, a well-known utilitarian, who claims that a child can be killed up to 28 days after birth without consequences.’
‘There is a philosopher in Europe, a recognized guru of the mainstream, progressive part of society, Mr. Jurgen Habermas. He says that there is something like the sanctity of life, and that human life is a good, or a value, which is not subject to any regulations – it is an ungovernable value, it is not subject to anybody’s choice for or against, whether to abort, or not. A well-known bioethics professor Dworkin, very far from Catholic views himself, also thinks that human life is sacred and should be protected.’

MP (Ms) Krystyna Grabicka:
‘I would like to remind you that the current year is the year of the beatification of our John Paul II. Let me remind you that some of you went to Rome for photo ops. Let me remind you just one quote by our blessed John Paul II: The nation that kills its own children is a nation without future. And I have one more question: what is the difference between a 2-week old baby after birth and a fetus? This term is used by abortion supporters. Both organisms are not independent. Both babies cannot live without outside care. In my opinion the difference is that one of them is guaranteed the right to life, while the other is refused the right to life, when it is disabled or when the pregnancy results from illegal activity. Following the logic of supporters of abortion law, we should widen the access to termination of pregnancy or of life until the individual reaches not precisely defined independence. American writer Philip Dick, in his story “Pre-Persons” written after the legalization of abortion in the USA, shows an interesting way of establishing a person’s right to life. It is dependent on the individual’s ability to do algebra, which usually takes place at 12 years of age. Until they gain this skill, pre-persons can be killed, scott free. Is this what we want in Poland?’

MP (Mr) Jerzy Rębek, Law and Justice party:
‘It was scary to hear that “only” 500 children died by abortion and that this is not a lot. For a man of average sensibility, let alone Christian sensibility, this is unacceptable. I have a question to the parliamentarians of the [ruling] Civic Platform party. In a project of a bill on the protection of animals, you show great sensibility. There are clauses there that it is illegal to lift a live fish by the operculum [cover of the gills]. Your bill proposes that all animals should be provided with veterinary care 24/7 in case of road accidents. Here you show great concern, even too much of it. Yestarday I heard one parliamentarian say that we should equate animals’ rights with those of humans. I heard that with my own ears. There’s something wrong here. The balance is not correct, and to the disadvantage of the humans.’

Praise for the citizens’ initiative

MP (Mr) Piotr Walkowski (Polish Peasants’ Party, a minor party in the present ruling coalition)
‘For the Polish Peasants’ Party, whose motto in the coming elections is The man is the most important, a child is a special kind of man, a defenceless man, who requires special care.’ (…) We pay special respect to the 600 thousand citizens of the Polish Nation, who signed the citizen’s legislative motion. We think that the debate on such an important ethical issue will increase social awareness.’

MP (Mr) Jan Filip Libicki (independent MP, handicapped himself)
‘First of all I would like to very much thank the citizens’ committee for this legislative proposal, because I think you can hardly find a better example of a civil society than this, when society gets organized like this in defense of the highest values: dignity and respect for the human person.’‘

On eugenic abortion

MP (Ms) Anna Sobecka, Law and Justice party:
‘Is an ill pre-birth child supposed be sentenced to death penalty? How can we uphold the death penalty in our legal system?’

MP (Mr) Czesław Hoc, Law and Justice party:
‘The basic legal norm in a democratic society is the rule of non-discrimination. How can you take away the fundamental right to life from a child only because of an illness? If we don’t respect the fundamental right to life, no other rights make sense. I have been a doctor for 30 years now and I know that children with the Down Syndrome are often referred to as “God’s children”, because they are, with no exception, a boundless pure love, loved by their families, and we want to kill this love.’

MP (Mr) Jan Warzecha, Law and Justice party:
‘What proportion of abortions performed in 2010 concerned fetuses with Down Syndrome symptoms? Please confirm or deny that it is a common practice that the so-called “severe and irreversible deformity” most often means the Down Syndrome. How does this relate to the Constitutional ban on discrimination based on the state of health or disability? I would like a straightforward answer on whether the Polish state considers symptoms of Down’s Syndrome enough reason to terminate the pregnancy.’

MP (Mr) Stanisław Ożóg, Law and Justice party:
‘Today marks exactly 20 months since the day that my daughter-in-law, my son, and I found out that my unborn grandson had a very serious heart problem. We did not hesitate a minute. We took up the fight for the life of this child, knowing that our chances were scarce. (…) A month after his operation my grandson died. Neither me nor my children had any doubt that our decision was the right one, there could be no other decision. I have a grave of this child at the cemetery, where I can go to, light a candle, and be with him.’

MP (Ms) Maria Nowak, Law and Justice party:
‘Every year due to a suspicion of genetic disorders, about 500 children are killed under the auspices of law. Personally I know cases when as a result of prenatal screening women were advised to terminate their pregnancies. Those women did not terminate and gave birth to healthy children.’

On abortion when pregnancy results from illegal activity

MP (Ms) Anna Sobecka, Law and Justice party:
‘The clause in the 1993 law depriving the child of the right to life, when there is grounded suspicion that the pregnancy resulted from an illegal act by the child’s father, is ultimately unjust. It is enough to have a grounded suspicion of an illegal act on the part of the father of the conceived child in order to take away the life of the absolutely innocent and defenceless baby, which in practice is executing a kind of death penalty on an innocent, unborn man. It is completely incomprehensible why some people, in the name of respect to human life, oppose the death penalty and at the same time they support abortion, a death penalty for an innocent child, who was conceived as a result of suspected illegal action on the part of his father. Death penalty for criminals was abolished in the European Union as inhumanitarian, and it is still practiced for the innocent, the smallest, weakest children.’

MP (Mr) Robert Telus, Law and Justice party:
‘I personally know an example of a child conceived in rape. This child is 7 years old now and is the most loved child. The mother would give her life for this child today. It was a child conceived in rape.’

MP (Mr) Czesław Hoc, Law and Justice party:
‘No! It is the guilty that must be punished with all severity. And the highest form of punishment, death, is executed on an innocent child. The state should provide care for the child, guarantee the child a possibility of upbringing, not allow his death, condemn the child to death, pressure for it. The criminal has the right to a court case, defence, appeals, etc. A totally innocent child is given no defense rights. Children cannot be killed for the sins of their fathers.’

MP (Ms) Maria Zuba, Law and Justice party:
‘7 years ago a 14-year old girl got pregnant as a result of rape. She was in despair, but she met a nun, who held her up spiritually and discouraged from abortion. That young girl met more angels – a young couple who adopted her. Today she is 21 years old and has a 7-year old daughter whom she loves boundlessly. She is surrounded by love of good people. If she was here today, she would tell you more, but for sure she would say that you cannot treat one harm by exerting another.’

MP (Mr) Stefan Strzałkowski, Law and Justice party:
‘In the case of abortion following rape, do we have the right, as parliamentarians, to allow for the woman to be punished twice? She was already punished, when she was raped. The second punishment are the results of the abortion for the rest of her life, and the literature on this is rich.’

On abortion for the “mother’s health”

MP (Ms) Anna Sobecka, Law and Justice party:
‘Thanks to the great progress of medical sciences there is practically no conflict between the protection of life of the mother and of her unborn child.’

MP (Mr) Czesław Hoc, Law and Justice party:
‘With all responsibility we can say that there should be no such cases in contemporary medicine. Nowadays there is no collision between the woman’s health and continuing the pregnancy. And even when there is such a collision, then we should apply the most expensive and the most advanced methods of modern medicine, and not resort to a primitive act of killing one person to save another.’

International influence

[Note: On July 1, Poland began its 6-month period of ‘EU Presidency’, following Hungary]

MP (Mr) Kazimierz Gołojuch
‘Passing the law protecting life from conception during Polish Presidency in the EU would be a good example for other member states. Hungary introduced a Constitutional clause protection life from conception to natural death during their presidency.’

MP (Ms) Anna Sobecka, Law and Justice party:
‘Is the government going to support the initiatives of the pro-life movement like it is happening for example, in Hungary? Is the government going to promote protection of life from conception to natural death in schools, or is it going to yield to the abortion lobby?’

MP (Ms) Ewa Malik, Law and Justice party
‘The project under debate today (…) has a chance of becoming a catalyst of moral revolution in our country (…) and in the future can be transferred to the European ground, to all the countries which have so far presented positions on this issue known as the civilization of death.’

MP (Mr) Marek Polak, Law and Justice party:
‘Passing this law (…) is just a realization of our parliamentary duty to assure the right to life for everybody. We will cut ourselves off from the group of countries of the modern civilization, known as the civilization of death and comfort, and we will join the group of modern countries, which reject the barbarian methods of destruction of the innocent and defenseless human being. Today we have this chance.’

Inconsistency of the law allowing abortion

MP (Mr) Tadeusz Woźniak Law and Justice party:
‘Is the current right to kill unborn children in accordance with natural law, with common law, with norms of social life, with the Ten Commandments and with faith which 95% of Poles claim to profess, with the cannon law and with the Constitution? Is the law on Family Planning internally consistent and is it consistent with other acts, like for example the act on the Ombudsman for Children, which states clearly that a child is every human being from conception until the moment when it comes of age? Is the current law consistent with the Penal Code, Executive Penal Code, Civil Code, Family Code, the act on health care and many, many other laws, where the conceived baby has its own rights?’

MP (Ms) Jolanta Szczypinska
‘The Constitution of the Republic of Poland states that the country guarantees legal protection of life to everybody. This is an unequivocal protection of life for every man, whether born or unborn, sick or ill, weak or weaker.’

MP (Mr) Marek Polak, Law and Justice party:
‘‘Both the Constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by Poland declare full protection of the right to life both before and after birth. I would like to ask the Health Minister why until this day, human life in the early stages of development, in the mother’s womb, where it should be especially secure, is threatened with death under the auspices of our law, why has this place become the location of the slaughter of countless innocent human beings?’

Abortion not a religious issue

MP (Mr) Marek Matuszewski, Law and Justice party:
‘Not only Christians, but Muslims, Jews and even atheists fight for life. They form the world pro-life movement, based on the truth about the human person. The truth about life is non-religious and impartial. (…) I am calling on liberal and leftist parliamentarians to stop being deaf to economic arguments, which are closer to them, and these are against the killing of our children. We cannot allow a situation such as that one which takes place in the rich western countries, where the development of economy and the stability of the welfare system are based on workers from abroad. We cannot allow even one life to be taken away by abortion in Poland, because life is a priceless value.’

MP (Mr) Franciszek Jerzy Stefaniuk, Polish Peasants’ Party
‘There is also such a thing as conscience, post abortion conscience, post abortion thoughts, which is also non-religious and apolitical. We should take into account how much depression, how many post-abortion psychological breakdowns there are. Nobody presents those statistics. That’s why I oppose when somebody says that protection of life is an issue of the Church, This is not an issue of the Church, this is an issue of everybody and that’s how we should approach it.’

MP (Mr) Jan Dziedziczak, Law and Justice party
‘This is not strictly a Catholic project. This proposal extends far beyond the question of faith, this is a modern project, of the 21st century, closing a certain anachronism that had resulted from lack of technical possibilities. In the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s abortion was performed also because people didn’t know for sure that there is human person in the mother’s womb. Now, in the 21st century, with the present technology there is not the slightest doubt that this is a human person, and the supporters of abortion are for the killing of this person.’