The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) organised a demonstration outside the Polish embassy in London on 29 August to protest against the dismissal of Professor Chazan from his post at Holy Family Children’s Hospital in Warsaw.
Professor Chazan was dismissed by the mayor of Warsaw after refusing to grant an abortion to, or refer for an abortion, a woman who was carrying a child with a disability. The child was born and has since died naturally.
Following Professor Chazan’s dismissal, Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland, made a statement saying, “Regardless of what his conscience is telling him, [a doctor] must carry out the law”, according to Polskie radio.
Regarding the Prime Minister’s comment, Magdalena Ozimic, originally from Szczecin in north-west Poland, 31, said:
It is very important for me to be a witness here as a Pole. We live in terrible anti-life times when even in Poland, where a huge majority declare themselves Catholic, the Prime Minister stands for killing the innocent. As a young adult I wanted to become a doctor, believing I would be saving people's lives. Unfortunately nowadays, young people who want to save lives may have to think carefully before embarking on a medical career. I hope Dr Chazan will get more support in Catholic Poland and we can do our best here to show our support as pro-lifers.
The event, which was attended mostly by young people, was publicised particularly among the Polish community, who participated in the demonstration. The aim of the demonstration was to call for the reinstatement of Professor Chazan to his post at Holy Family Children’s Hospital and to highlight the injustice of the dismissal. Unfortunately, the demonstration drew no visible reaction from the embassy itself; when enquiries were made, protestors were told that the ambassador was absent.
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One Polish demonstrator, Slawek Wrobel, 36, said, “I cannot believe that, 10 years after the reign of John Paul II, our Polish pro-life pope, someone who cares about life can be dismissed from their job. I am also astonished that the Mayor of Warsaw, who has put herself forward as a good Catholic, has sacked Dr Chazan.”
Participants handed out leaflets to passers-by detailing the case of Professor Chazan’s dismissal and the situation surrounding Professor Chazan’s refusal to participate in the abortion.
Katarzyna Jabrocka, 34, said, “I came here to support the belief that Dr Chazan shouldn't be dismissed because he supported life. He should be enabled to continue his work as a doctor, and we are here today to support him.”