25 October 2016

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OpinionWoman’s choice

Pro life or pro choice? The decision is pretty hard to make. However, in no way should it be the one to be taken by the State. This is immoral and brutal.

Not so long ago, the Polish Sejm passed the first reading of a bill completely banning abortions no matter the consequences. The draft law provides for imprisoning for a term between three months and five years both for the women and the medical staff that perform the procedure. Moreover, in case of a miscarriage, the medics are obliged to prove that this was an accident rather than a deliberate move.

In general, Polish legislation has never been loyal to abortions. Termination of pregnancy was allowed only in three cases: if the woman’s life was threatened, if pregnancy was a result of rape, and if the fetus is seriously malformed. The new law, supported by the Polish Catholic Church despite the fact that Pope Francis allowed the priests to remit the sin of abortion, lifts these exclusions altogether.

Thousands of Poles took to the streets yesterday to voice their resentment over the latest move of the Polish authorities.

This is not the first time the citizens rallied over this matter. The so-called “black protests” started back in the spring of 2016 but the Sejm’s decision multiplied the public outrage. The wave effect was astonishing, spreading like a tsunami on social networks. In a solidarity move, thousands of netizens across the world had their say with hashtags #blackprotest and #czarnyprotest.

It should be noted that the opponents of the Polish legislative initiative do not stand against abortion as such. They emphasize the fact that the ban will push the medical procedure into the illegal field, claiming that the woman who firmly decided to terminate pregnancy will do it anyway despite any ban.

And it is important to understand that these illegal methods of getting rid of unwanted pregnancies threaten the women’s health far more than professional medical intervention...

In Ukraine, it is allowed to make an abortion 12 weeks into the pregnancy. On a bigger term, it all depends on health indicators. No initiatives similar to the Polish ones were discussed by the Verkhovna Rada.

Several zealous MPs even drafted the relevant bills, which, however, found no support even in the profile committees of the Rada, not to mention the Parliament as a whole. But these trends are still unpleasant, to put it mildly. Moreover, such ideas are gladly picked up by some representatives of the clergy.

However, both the Ukrainian society and professional circles related to the matter are most inclined to believe that the ban is not an option. According to a gynecologist Natalia Lelyukh, who has not done any abortions for 15 years, it is necessary to choose the other side of the influence, which is to promote birth control, answer the questions of children and teens on the topic of sex and staying safe, rather than give any reasons for the increase in maternal mortality and the emergence of yet one source of criminal and illegal incomes of medical staff, "because any ban is always just a new opportunity for evading it."

Iryna Shevchenko

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