Polish police use tear gas during new abortion protest

A fresh demonstration against the attempt to tighten Poland's abortion law resulted in minor clashes with police, while officers used tear gas against protesters, dpa reported. Several thousand people protested on Wednesday evening amid high police presence in central Warsaw.

The protest, organized by the Nationwide Women's Strike, was initially to take the form of a blockade of the parliament building in the capital, but during the day parliament was cordoned off by police forces. Forced away from the parliament building, the crowd started marching through central Warsaw and eventually staged a protest in front of a building of public television broadcaster TVP.

Tear gas was used in response to aggressive behaviour towards police officers, Warsaw police wrote on social media.

Emotions were running high also in parliament. "You have blood on your hands," Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's governing social conservative party Law and Justice said towards opposition politicians, who voiced their support for the protest.

The Wednesday protests were yet another instance of large nationwide street demonstrations that have followed a late October ruling by the Constitutional Court. The court ruled that abortions carried out due to irreversible congenital defects - covering a wide range of conditions from Down's syndrome to fatal illnesses - were illegal under the constitution, effectively introducing a near-total ban. However, nearly a month later, that ruling has still not been published in Poland's Journal of Laws, a condition necessary for it to fully take effect.

Political commentators say that the ruling could not have been made without the consent of Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The anger of protesters concentrated mainly on Kaczynski, his party, but also on the Catholic Church which has always held a clear stance against abortion.

A legislative proposal that would partially overrule the court's judgement was submitted to parliament by President Andrzej Duda. Parliament has started working on it, but the draft is not on the agenda of the current session. Still, many protesters reject the president's proposal, calling instead for a broader liberalization of abortion law.

Similar articles

  • Ireland ends mandatory quarantine for travelers

    Ireland ends mandatory quarantine for travelers

    The mandatory hotel quarantine imposed in the Republic of Ireland for those travelling from designated high-risk countries has ended. The country's health minister made an official announcement saying it was to end "immediately", BBC reported. All countries have now been removed from the list of designated states.

  • Germans vote for parliament in tight political race

    Germans vote for parliament in tight political race

    SPD mounts the pressure on retiring Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU

    Germany votes on Sunday in country’s parliamentary elections with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) emerging as leader by narrow margin to the centre-right bloc of retiring Chancellor Angela Merkel. She has been leading Germany for the last 16 years. Therefore the vote is seen as a corner stone to set the future course of Europe's largest economy, Reuters reported.

  • Hundreds dismiss the Dutch “corona pass”

    Hundreds dismiss the Dutch “corona pass”

    Hundreds protesters marched on Saturday in the streets of major cities in the Netherlands in a protest against the introduced "corona pass" which is equivalent to proof of Covid-19 vaccination and became compulsory to get into bars, restaurants, theatres and other public venues, Reuters reported. Only few hours after the new requirements took effect, the government of caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte fired a deputy minister who had publicly questioned the measures.