Poland’s ruling party delays bill that will protect babies with disabilities from abortion

Poland’s ruling party has delayed the progress of a Bill that will protect unborn babies from discriminatory disability-selective abortion.

Unlike most of Europe, Poland protects unborn babies from abortion in most circumstances. Terminations are only permissible after rape or incest, if the mother’s life is at risk, or in cases of foetal abnormality – including Down’s syndrome.

Yesterday the country’s parliament had a choice of rejecting the bill, sending it to a parliamentary committee or fast-tracking it to a second reading.

177 members of Poland’s Law and Justice Party voted against progressing the Bill to a Second Reading, while only 52 voted in favour.

A vote to completely reject the Bill was defeated with just 187 in favour, 254 against, and 10 abstentions. It means the Bill will now be sent to a parliamentary committee for further work.

In the past, this has been a way to let legislation quietly die.

However, that could be difficult as the proposed legislation comes from a Citizens’ Initiative which received support from over 830,000 Polish residents indicating strong public support for a change in law.

Additionally, polling within the country has revealed there is strong support for pro-life measures in the country. A CBOS poll found that 75% of Polish people think abortion is “always wrong and can never be justified”. Meanwhile, only 7% thought there was “nothing wrong with it and could always be justified”.

However, it is unclear how much support the ruling Law and Justice party will give the Bill despite it being submitted by one of their own MPs, Elzbieta Witek.

Though the bill has strong support from the public, pro-life campaigners are wary that pressure from abortion activist groups pushing back aggressively to keep eugenic disability-selective abortions legal could see the Law and Justice party withdraw their support yet again.

The majority of protests against the Bill have come from international pro-abortion pressure groups.

Amnesty International’s Poland director, Draginja Nadazdin, said in a statement: “We will continue to watch the authorities’ every move to ensure that these regressive bills do not proceed any further when they inevitably resurface.”

In 2016, the Law and Justice party initially supported a similar Citizens’ Initiative but then withdrew its support following such pressure.

A pro-abortion petition against the bill has signatures from 170 MPs, MEPs and senators from 24 European countries. However, only nine of the signatories are lawmakers from Poland.President Andrzej Duda, a Law and Justice Party ally, has indicated he will sign the Bill into law telling Polish publication Niedziela in a recent interview: “I believe that killing children with disabilities is simply murder. If a project opposing this issue will find itself on my desk, I will certainly sign it.”

First babies likely to be aborted this week under new Northern Ireland abortion regime

A pro-abortion organisation has announced that it has launched an abortion service that will operate across Northern Ireland, meaning babies are likely to begin being aborted under Northern Ireland’s new abortion regime this week.

Pro-abortion organisation Informing Choices NI (Formerly Family Planning Association Northern Ireland)  has launched what it describes as a “Central Access Point which will provide a pathway into local abortion services.”

The new scheme will promote abortion services to women in Northern Ireland and then refer them on to local providers where they will be provided with medical abortions. Women will take the first abortion pill, misoprostol, at the local provider and then be sent home to take the second set of abortion pills, misoprostol, after which they will pass their unborn child at home.

 Until now health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland hadn’t rolled out any abortion ‘services’ despite the extreme abortion regime coming into effect at the end of March.  

The Northern Ireland Department of Health has ensured its focus and resources are on saving lives from Coronavirus. 

However, abortion activists at Alliance for Choice threatened legal action against the Department of Health.

Following the legal threat, the Northern Ireland Department of Health announced that it would allow medical professionals to begin providing abortions.

The announcement comes just one week after the UK’s largest abortion provider, BPAS, launched an illegal ‘DIY’ abortion service in Northern Ireland.

‘DIY’ home abortions allow women to take both sets of potentially dangerous abortion pills at home by themselves without a doctor or other medical professional present, meaning they will be left to pass their unborn child at home without direct medical supervision.

Under the current law in Northern Ireland, the first abortion pill must be taken in a clinic under medical supervision while the second can be taken from home.

The Northern Ireland Department of Health has faced significant pressure from English abortion providers Marie Stopes and BPAS to make ‘DIY’ abortions legal in the province but have resisted allowing ‘DIY’ abortions.

The Northern Ireland Office, which drafted the extreme abortion framework, revealed 79% of its over 21,000 respondents to a public consultation had “expressed a view registering their general opposition to any abortion provision in Northern Ireland beyond that which is currently permitted”.

Additionally, a poll has shown that 58% of Sinn Féin voters and 54% of DUP voters want their country’s new abortion framework to only allow abortions when the mother’s life is at risk.

Only 5% of all voters support introducing abortion through to 24 weeks, which is in line with what the Government will be introducing to Northern Ireland.

Right To Life UK has launched its SaveLives: Repeal campaign urging Northern Ireland’s politicians to save lives by repealing the extreme abortion regime.

Additionally, Northern Ireland MLAs have called for an opportunity to introduce new legislation to repeal the new extreme abortion regime.

Dr Audrey Simpson, chair of Informing Choices NI, said: “We are delighted to provide this interim central access point to enable access to early medical abortion services in our local health trusts.”

“We stand by women and girls and all pregnancy choices.”

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said:

“This is a tragic week for Northern Ireland. This week babies will likely begin to be aborted in Northern Ireland under the new Westminster-imposed abortion regime.

“It is urgent that those living in Northern Ireland contact their MLAs, asking them to bring forward legislation as soon as possible to Stormont to repeal this extreme change to the law. Until then abortion activists will continue to exploit our current crisis to further advance their extreme abortion regime.”

“When announcing the roll out of their new abortion service in Northern Ireland, the chair of Informing Choices NI Dr Audrey Simpson said she stands by women and girls and all pregnancy choices, but this is sadly not the case.

“The pro-abortion lobby is all about forcing abortion on Northern Ireland at any cost, with absolutely no interest in providing real practical support to Northern Irish women facing crisis pregnancies.

“What this shows yet again is that the so-called ‘pro-choice’ lobby is really just pro-abortion. If Informing Choices NI were really interested in offering choice they would be announcing measures which support women facing crisis pregnancies who wish to keep their babies.”