NewsWed Feb 16, 2005 - 12:15 pm EST
Pro-Life Victory in Poland as Abortion Bill Narrowly Voted Off Legislative Agenda
WARSAW, February 16, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a close vote on Tuesday, Poland’s parliament deferred debate on legislation that would have made abortion there legal.
The ruling ex-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) decided debate on the abortion issue might further hamper their popularity, delaying discussions until after the election set for September. Defeat of the motion was by a margin of 199-183.
The SLD had promised an easing of abortion laws as part of their party platform during the 2001 elections; their popularity slumped to such lows, however, that they feared igniting the debate would only worsen their position in the polls.
“We will not be talking about abortion in this parliament,” parliamentary speaker and SLD member, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz said, according to a Reuters report. “We are not going to wage this kind of ideological war.”
Political analyst Wlodzimierz Derczynski said, “The SLD is weak at the moment, they are thinking about the elections and are afraid of any controversy.”
Abortion was made illegal in 1993 after the collapse of communism. Currently, Poland allows abortion if pregnancy results from rape, for children with a malformation, or for women in situations where continuance of the pregnancy may pose a grave health risk. The new law would have brought in abortion on demand for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Polish pro-life leader Lech Kowalewski told LifeSiteNews.com that Poland, with a similar population to Canada (30+ million), had the same number of abortions (100,000 + per year) under communism. However, with liberation came the right to life and the latest abortion figures reveal fewer than 200 abortions per year.
“The statement of the Polish Bishops Conference was very strong and helpful in the struggle,” Kowalewski said. He reminded LifeSiteNews.com that other anti-family bills such as those seeking to legalize same-sex “marriage” still remain before parliament.
The United Nations has been pressuring Poland to liberalize its abortion laws.
See the related LifeSiteNews.com reports: