Thursday, June 23, 2022

Polish Seym rejected the bill liberalizing abortion

 The Seym (parliament) rejected the 'citizen's bill' on safe termination of pregnancy. The proposed provisions assumed, inter alia, the right to terminate a pregnancy up to the 12th week. 265 deputies voted against the bill, 175 were for and 4 abstained.

Even the left-leaning opposition had problems with the wording or phrases used in the bill such as 'pregnant person.' "Some phrases raise uncertainty as to the intentions" - said the leader of "Civic Platform."

According to him, for many MPs, "a moot point" is also the provision that allows a decision to terminate a pregnancy for a person who has reached 13 years of age.

The citizen's draft law on safe termination of pregnancy and other reproductive rights was submitted to the Seym ('Sejm' - in Polish) by the committee of the legislative initiative "Legal abortion without compromise". It assumed, inter alia, the right to terminate the pregnancy up to the 12th week, and after that date - when the pregnancy poses a threat to the life or physical or mental health of a woman, when the results of prenatal diagnosis or other medical indications indicate that there are developmental or genetic abnormalities of the fetus, and when the pregnancy is a consequence of a prohibited act that is the subject of a pregnant person's declaration. More than 201,000 people signed the petition on the draft.

According to the draft, the National Health Fund would reimburse the termination of pregnancy. The decision to terminate the pregnancy could be made by a person over 13 years of age. In the case of a minor under the age of thirteen who expresses the will to terminate the pregnancy, the consent of the legal guardian would also be required or, if the guardian does not express it, the consent of the guardianship court. Moreover, the project guaranteed the right to information, education, and counseling enabling the full realization of the right to 'informed' parenthood. It abolished criminal penalties for doctors and those who assist in abortion and introduced additional regulations regarding the conscience clause to eliminate the phenomenon of abusing the clause at the expense of patients' rights.